why is the ACLU suing the Library of Congress?

The ACLU filed a lawsuit agains the Library of Congress for terminating a CRS Assistant Director for writing a letter to the editor for the Washington post and an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. Colonel Morris D. Davis was, prior to his CRS position, responsible for the prosecution of suspected terrorists held at Guantánamo Bay.

62. Because of his former position as the Chief Prosecutor for the military commissions, Col. Davis is regularly asked to comment on Guantánamo and the military commissions system. Col. Davis believes he has a unique perspective to add to this debate, and he would like to convey his insights and opinions to the public. Since he was informed that he was being terminated by CRS, however, Col. Davis has declined numerous opportunities to speak publicly about military commissions issues out of fear that he could be subject to further retaliation by the Library and [CRS Director Daniel] Mulhollan.
63. The decision to terminate Col. Davis for his speech has intimidated and chilled other CRS employees from speaking and writing in public. CRS employees are confused, uncertain, and fearful about what outside speaking and writing is permissible.
64. As a result of the Library’s and Mr. Mulhollan’s actions, Col. Davis has suffered, and/or will suffer, both economic and non-economic losses, emotional distress, and other compensable damages.

One Response to “why is the ACLU suing the Library of Congress?”

  1. Devon Persing Says:

    About 5 years ago I was an I-School student doing a weeklong internship at the Library of Congress. At one point, all of the interns from my program were rounded up and introduced to CRS for a recruitment talk.

    I can understand that the role of the CRS is to provide unbiased research to Congress for decision-making purposes. However, my short experience talking with CRS employees definitely made me think their policies went beyond workplace neutrality. It was pretty baldly stated during our discussion that if you had any sort of strong political leanings or a history of activism, they were not going to hire you (and they were going to find out about those things because, like all federal employees, you’d have an extensive background check done). I got completely turned off at the prospect, as did many of my friends who were present. A pity, because they’ve doubtlessly lost (and are continuing to lose) people who do good work.