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Supreme Court Okays Government’s Use Of Comprehensive Background Checks

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The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in NASA v. Nelson that the government as a public employer can ask about employees' drug treatment, medical conditions, or other personal information in its background security investigations —  a practice already "commonplace in the private sector." 

Case background: As the result of a Homeland Security directive, NASA subjected "low-risk" personnel (e.g., individuals not involved in classified or military activities) to in-depth background checks.  

The process began with employees completing a form seeking basic biographical information: name, address, prior residences, education, employment history, and personal and professional references. The form also asked about citizenship, selective service registration, and military service. The last question asked whether the employee had "used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs" in the last year. If the answe...(register to read more)

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