The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a former air marshal who disclosed sensitive information to the news media did not violate the law and is entitled to whistleblower protection.
On a 7-2 vote Wednesday, the court rejected the argument of President Barack Obama’s administration to reverse an appeals court ruling in favor of Robert MacLean. The government argued that whistleblower laws do not pertain to workers who reveal sensitive security information.
MacLean was fired for leaking information to an MSNBC reporter in 2003 that the Transportation Security Administration planned budget savings by cutting positions of undercover air marshals on overnight flights.
MacLean has said he passed on the information to the news media after agency supervisors ignored his concerns about public safety. His disclosure outraged U.S. lawmakers and triggered a quick reversal of the policy.