Mike Brett

Document Type

Supreme Court Commentaries

Publication Date



Civil Rights, Judicial Review

Subject Category

Constitutional Law | Law


This commentary analyzes the Supreme Court case Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean deciding whether an employee of the Department of Homeland Security comes under the protection of the Whistleblower Protection Act when they release potentially sensitive information to the media. Generally, the Act protects whistleblowers unless the information they release is not allowed "as specified by law." The particular statutory question in this case is whether the "law" prohibiting release must be contained in a statute, or can include the Department of Homeland Security's own promulgated regulation. The Author profiles the background of the case, applicable legal precedent, and arguments on both sides, and analyzes what the correct ruling should be.