Thursday, October 7, 2010

NASA vs. Nelson

The Supreme Court heard a NASA Privacy Case this week.  

The lawsuit was brought forward by NASA Jet Propulsion Lab scientists, including Robert Nelson.
The premise of the lawsuit is whether or no the government has the right to do extensive background checks of contractors deemed "low risk" that have access to federal facilities.  This team of contractor scientists objects to the background checks and filed a lawsuit saying that the checks violate their privacy.

A federal judge heard the case and allowed the security checks to continue.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the federal judge's decision.

What is your opinion?  

The background checks are designed to make sure that contract workers on Federal projects pass the sniff test in the name of National Security.

Should it be the price of admission?  In my humble opinion, yes.

The hearing was held 10/6.  Court reporters thought that most of the court seemed to lean towards upholding the use of background checks.  Elena Kagan, the newest member did not participate in the arguments on Tuesday.

More to come.

"Supreme Court to Hear NASA Privacy Case, NASA vs rocket scientists: Supreme Court to hear privacy case against space agency", ABC News, October 3, 2010.

The University of Chicago Law School, "NASA v. Nelson Oral Argument Aftermath - What Should the Majority Opinion Look Like?", The Faculty Blog, October 6, 2010.

"Justices question Caltech scientists' privacy claims", Los Angeles Time, David G. Savage, Tribune Washington Bureau, October 6, 2010.

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