In a unanimous decision issued today, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (something they seem to do a lot) and rejected an attempt to set a stricter standard for employee background screening.
The court’s opinion (PDF) in NASA vs. Nelson is here.
“The Court rejects the argument that the Government has a constitutional burden to demonstrate that its employment background questions are “necessary” or the least restrictive means of furthering its interests. So exacting a standard runs directly contrary to [previous case law], writes Justice Samuel Alito, in the opinion joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.
Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a concurring opinion, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case.
Here’s HREOnline’s round-up of the cases the High Court agreed to hear this year, including this one.
Here’s some analysis from Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, who blogs at The Volokh Conspiracy.