Does NASA have the right to probe medical records, finances and drug history of employees?
Twenty-eight scientists--who work at positions that do not require security clearance--think not. Because of the unclassified nature of their employment, the plaintiffs cite the background checks as an invasion of their personal privacy.
The controversy began in 2004 when NASA, then under the direction of Michael Griffin, ordered all scientists working at JPL to undergo comprehensive, open-ended background checks — beyond the standard pre-hiring reviews for federal employees — or risk losing their jobs.
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The Supreme Court will hear formal arguments today.