Library Of Congress Refuses To Reinstate Wrongly Fired Guantánamo Lawyer

December 14, 2009 5:29 pm

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

ACLU Planning Lawsuit On Behalf Of Col. Morris Davis

CONTACT: (212) 549-2666;

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:

The Library of Congress response is online at:

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

The Latest in Free Speech

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About Free Speech

Free Speech issue image

Protecting free speech means protecting a free press, the democratic process, diversity of thought, and so much more. The ACLU has worked since 1920 to ensure that freedom of speech is protected for everyone.