This case involves Robert J. MacLean, who lost? ?his?? job? ?as? ?an? ?air? ?marshal? ?with? ?the Transportation Security Administration for telling a cable news reporter the TSA was cutting down on air marshals aboard airline flights out of Las Vegas.? ?He ?protested ?to ?agency? officials ?after getting word of the cutback but, dissatisfied with their response, decided to go public. The legal issue is whether the agency can invoke the affirmative defense to the federal employee whistleblower protections codified at 5 U.S.C. ? 2302(b)(8)(A), which allows an agency to take action when an employee makes a disclosure ?specifically prohibited by law.?? ?The Federal Circuit ruled that affirmative defense did not apply here because the employee?s disclosures violated only a regulation rather than a statute, and reversed the? Merit ?System ?Protection ?Board?s ?ruling ?in favor of the agency.?Dep?t of Homeland Security v. MacLean, 134 S. Ct. 2290 (5/19/14)