the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles awarded a temporary
injunction against Caltech and NASA over intrusive background
investigations on their low-risk employees. The injunction will remain
in effect for the entire duration of the District Court proceedings.
three-judge panel has decided that the investigations threaten the
constitutional rights of workers, is not grounded in law, and is not
narrowly tailored to a legitimate need.
workers' attorney Dan Stormer said. "This represents a vindication of
constitutional protections that all of us are entitled to. It prevents
the government from conducting needless searches into backgrounds."
employees are being represented by the Hadsell & Stormer legal
team. Caltech tried to force employees into cooperating by terminating
those not complying with the rebadging requirement. Under Homeland Security
Presidential Directive 12, all government agencies were ordered to step
up security by issuing new identification badges. The next hearing has
been scheduled for 2pm on February 15, 2008.
have raised serious questions as to the merits of their informational
privacy and APA claims, and the balance of hardships tips sharply in
their favor. The district court’s denial of the preliminary injunction
was based on errors of law and hence was an abuse of discretion.
Accordingly, we reverse and remand with instructions to fashion
preliminary injunctive relief consistent with this opinion, the Court wrote in its final paragraph.
Caltech JPL employees "face a stark choice - either violation of their
constitutional rights or loss of their jobs," Judge Kim Wardlaw said in
Friday's 3-0 ruling.
Managed by the California Institute of
Technology, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) builds and operates
unmanned spacecraft for the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA). Among their current projects are the
Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and
the Spitzer Space Telescope. The high-tech research facility dates back
to the 1930s, when Caltech professor Theodore von Kármán began running
rocket propulsion experiments there.
© 2007 - 2008 - eFluxMedia