Rep. Adam Schiff called on U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Hodler on Wednesday to accept an appellate court decision to repeal Bush-era background checks for employees at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and instead develop a new security system “without trampling on the privacy of our best scientists and engineers.”
JPL scientists and engineers won a legal victory June 4 in their fight against a Bush-era directive to submit to more intrusive background checks after the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a 2008 injunction against the practice.
The class-action lawsuit against Homeland Security Directive 12, issued under the Bush administration in 2004, was filed in 2007 by 28 JPL employees after they were told they would have to submit to an extensive background check that could include interviews with friends, neighbors and co-workers or anyone the agency deemed important. The checks could also include questions regarding an individual’s health history and sexual orientation.