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View Diary: Temple Tells Nurses: The Constitution Doesn't Apply to You (259 comments)

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  •  So what? The fact that it is taxpayer (1+ / 0-)
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    funded is just a nin qua non, that would allow a governmental body to pass LEGISLATION preventing Temple from silencing anyone . . . so long as they take taxpayer money.

    Unless someone can point to any kind of legislation--local, statewide, or federal--that would prevent Temple from silencing people on the basis that they take taxpayer money, the nurses are shit out of luck when it comes to any "constitutional free speech rights."

    The Bill of Rights only applies to governmental actors.  Not private actors.  And the fact that a private actor takes taxpayer money is not, in and of itself, enough to automatically bring it under the First Amendment's freedom of speech provisions.  That is, it does not automatically transform that private actor into a governmental actor.

    For that to happen, Congress or a state body would have to pass a law to this effect.  

    Show me that such a law actually exists, and then people might have an argument that Temple is acting illegally.  But without such a law, the fact that Temple takes taxpayer money--in and of itself-- means squat when it comes to their ability to silence their employees.

    As sad as this may be, them's the legal breaks.

    The nurses' best bet is to unionize and go on strike for the collectively bargained right to open their mouths on issues such as these.

    •  So cut off their public funds for misbehavior. (1+ / 0-)
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      Go to Congress, go to state legislature, go to Philly city council and cut off the funds if the hospital is going to behave badly.

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