Library Of Congress Refuses To Reinstate Wrongly Fired Guantánamo Lawyer

December 14, 2009

ACLU Planning Lawsuit On Behalf Of Col. Morris Davis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – In response to a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union earlier this month, the Library of Congress stated today that it will not reinstate Col. Morris Davis to his job at the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Davis, the former chief prosecutor for the Guantánamo military commissions, was terminated from his job at CRS because of opinion pieces he wrote about the Guantánamo military commissions system that ran in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post on November 11, 2009. The ACLU's letter argued that CRS violated the First Amendment when it fired Davis for speaking as a private citizen about matters having nothing to do with his job there, and that CRS must reinstate Davis to his position in order to avoid litigation. The ACLU now plans to file a lawsuit on Col. Davis's behalf.

The following can be attributed to Aden Fine, staff attorney with the ACLU First Amendment Working Group:

"The decision by the Library of Congress not to reinstate Col. Davis represents a blatant disregard for the Constitution and the free speech rights of its employees. The First Amendment protects Col. Davis's right to speak and write as a private citizen about issues on which he has personal knowledge. We are disappointed that the Library did not take this opportunity to right its wrong."

The full text of the ACLU's letter is available online at: www.aclu.org/free-speech/letter-library-congress-asking-reinstatement-colonel-morris-davis

The Library of Congress response is online at: www.aclu.org/free-speech/letter-aclu-library-congress-regarding-removal-col-morris-davis  

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