This Comment analyzes the court’s application of the standing doctrine in PETA v. Stein to demonstrate that the dismissal of a challenge to a whistleblower silencing statute because the plaintiff lacked standing is detrimental to First Amendment rights. This Comment argues that a relaxed standing requirement must be applied to future pre-enforcement challenges of legislation that aims to silence whistleblowers, and therefore chills First Amendment rights.
Part I examines the court’s relaxed application of the standing requirement to criminal statutes that chill First Amendment rights. Part II argues for a relaxed application of the standing requirement to whistleblower silencing statutes, both criminal and civil, that chill First Amendment rights. Finally, Part III discusses the implication of the un-published PETA v. Stein decision and the likelihood of an increase in civil statutes silencing workplace whistleblowers.
Gagged by Big Ag: Whistleblower Silencing Bill Threatens the Employee’s Right to Uncover Workplace Wrongdoing, 49 Golden Gate U. L. Rev. 91