There was much debate yesterday over whether Derek Fenton, the NJ man who burned pages of the Koran at a protest of the Park 51 project on Sept. 11, should have been fired from his job at NJ Transit. Today, NJ Gov. Chris Christie defended NJ Transit's decision: "We're supportive of the action taken by NJTransit," Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak told the Daily News.

Fenton was terminated for violating the NJ Transit code of ethics (reader MNS points to this document, although it's unclear if this is the guideline referred to by NJ Transit), though he was off-duty at the time. Despite his actions, some politicians are questioning whether Fenton's constitutional rights were violated: "What he did was self-centered. He didn’t care about anyone else but himself, and he put people lives in jeopardy, but it had nothing to do with his responsibilities on the job. And most importantly, it’s protected by the First Amendment,” said State Sen. Ray Lesniak, of Union County.

According to The American Civil Liberties Union, a person cannot be fired for off-the-job political expression when employed in a non-policy-related role. There is now a Facebook group called "Help Derek Fenton," where some Fenton supporters are trying to help him find a new job. And his neighbors are also defending him: "Part of being in America is that you have freedom of religion, freedom of speech. Would I burn the Koran? No, because they are extremists, yes. But there are people who follow that are not like, but should not get fired over something … I don’t see how they could have violated his rights that way,” said neighbor Christine Gaccione.