Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Any Takers On A Wager That The Supreme Court Is Itching To Reverse The 9th In Nelson v. NASA, Cert. Granted March 8, 2010?

In this case, the 9th Circuit, NASA v. Nelson, 568 F.3d 1028 (9th Cir. 2009), held that plaintiffs who challenged NASA’s background check policy were entitled to a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the policy. The plaintiffs are various contract employees who work for NASA contractors. The panel concluded that it was likely unconstitutional for NASA to ask various people who knew the contract employees broad questions which were arguably not “narrowly tailored” to the government’s interests.

Form 42 solicits “any adverse information” concerning “financial integrity,” “abuse of alcohol and/or drugs,” “mental or emotional stability,” and “other matters.”

If this is an unconstitutional intrusion into one’s informational privacy, what about those questions that the bar admission people routinely ask prospective new lawyers? One can think of other examples of such broad questioning. What about questioning by the police during an investigation? And, so on.

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