Barack Obama, President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
Subject: Homeland Security Presidential Directive #12 -- NASA and Caltech vs. Nelson et al. No. 07-56424.
I am writing to ask to intervene in an unfortunate situation created by one of your appointees, Solicitor General, Elena Kagan. On November 2, Solicitor General Kagan filed for a writ of certiorari before the United States Supreme Court, requesting a review of a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals injunction that protects employees at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory from intrusive, open ended, background investigations ordered under Homeland Security Presidential Directive #12 (NASA and Caltech vs. Nelson et al. No. 07-56424). If granted, the Supreme Court review could result in government investigations into the most intimate details of the private lives of federal contractors who do nonclassified and nonsensitive work.
Kagan has requested that the Supreme Court overturn a decision of the Ninth Circuit Court issued on June 4. The June 4 ruling denied a Department of Justice motion for an en banc hearing on the question of overturning the Ninth-Circuit injunction issued last year against NASA and the California Institute of Technology and in favor of the JPL employees.
The Solicitor General has opened a Pandora’s box, permitting the Supreme Court to possibly erase all protections that citizens might have against government snooping into their private lives. The Supreme Court could invite the government to engage in a wholesale, unrestrained invasion of privacy. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had put this matter to rest. There is no need to reopen this matter before the Supreme Court.
When the country elected you and Vice President Biden, it was in no small part because you promised change from the draconian policies of the previous 8 years. It is now time for you to explain to Solicitor General Kagan that your predecessor’s trampling of civil liberties must come to an end. As president you have the authority to direct the Solicitor General to withdraw her petition. Furthermore, you have the authority to rewrite HSPD#12 or rescind it entirely. This would render moot Kagan’s unwise action.
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