A federal court has struck down personnel rules adopted by the Department of Homeland Security, saying they violate the rights and protections given to employees by Congress.
In a ruling on Friday night, Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of Federal District Court said the rules did not "ensure collective bargaining" as required by the law that created the department. The rules were to take effect on Monday.
Employee rights were a huge political issue in debates over creation of the department, which consolidated 22 federal agencies with nearly 180,000 employees in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks in the United States.
Judge Collyer, who was appointed by President Bush, said the 2002 law gave federal officials "extraordinary authority" to develop a personnel system without regard to many of the constraints normally imposed by Civil Service laws. But, she said, the Bush administration exceeded even the "broad authority" granted by Congress.
The above is from Robert Pear's "Homeland Security Dept. Loses Labor Rules Fight" in this morning's New York Times.
We'll also note this Associated Press article that Heather e-mailed about, "Soldier Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Smuggling." The soldier is a United States soldier and the country smuggled to is the US (country smuggled from is Columbia). From the article:
Specialist Francisco Rosa, 25, pleaded guilty Wednesday to using, possessing and distributing cocaine and making a false official statement, said the spokeswoman, Jean Offutt.
Based on a military judge's recommendation, Specialist Rosa will spend five years in prison with a reduction in rank to private and a bad-conduct discharge, Ms. Offutt said. Other authorities, including the commanding general of the post, could change the sanctions.
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