Justia Aerospace/Defense Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Constitutional Law
Gargiulo v. Dep’t of Homeland Sec.
Based on misconduct that he allegedly committed in his previous positions as a police officer and deputy sheriff, the Transportation Security Administration suspended and ultimately revoked Gargiulo’s security clearance, which was necessary for his job as a Federal Air Marshall. The Merit Systems Protection Board affirmed. On appeal, Gargiulo argued that the agency deprived him of constitutional due process by not timely providing him with documentary materials relied upon in deciding to suspend his security clearance. Although he was given notice of the reasons for the suspension of his security clearance as early as August 2008, he was not provided with copies of the documentary materials until May 2009, three months after he was suspended from his job. The Federal Circuit affirmed, stating that security clearance decisions do not implicate any due process rights. View "Gargiulo v. Dep't of Homeland Sec." on Justia Law
Electronic Privacy Info. Center, et al. v. Dept. of Homeland Security, et al.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and two individuals petitioned for review of a decision by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to screen airline passengers by using advanced imaging technology (AIT) instead of magnetometers. EPIC argued that the use of AIT violated various federal statutes and the Fourth Amendment and, in any event, should have been the subject of notice-and-comment rulemaking before being adopted. The court granted the petition for review with respect to claims that the TSA had not justified its failure to initiate notice-and-comment rulemaking before announcing it would use AIT scanners for primary screening at airports. None of the exceptions urged by the TSA justified its failure to give notice of and receive comment upon such a rule, which was legislative and not merely interpretive, procedural, or a general statement of policy. The court denied the petition with respect to EPIC's statutory arguments and their claim under the Fourth Amendment, except their claim under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq., which the court dismissed for lack of standing. Finally, due to the obvious need for the TSA to continue its airport security operations without interruption, the court remanded the rule to the TSA but did not vacate it. View "Electronic Privacy Info. Center, et al. v. Dept. of Homeland Security, et al." on Justia Law
Richard Menkes v. US Dept. of Homeland Security, et al
Appellant filed suit against the United States Department of Homeland Security, the Coast Guard, and the Assistant Commandant of the Coast Guard (collectively "the Government") challenging the Coast Guard's determination to terminate his appointment as an unaffiliated, independent pilot. At issue was whether the Government's action violated the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA"), 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(A), as well as appellant's First Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights. The court held that the Coast Guard's interpretation of the term "voluntary association" in the Great Lakes Pilotage Act ("GLPA"), 46 U.S.C. 9304(a), easily survived review under Chevron. The court also held that appellant's First Amendment claim appeared to be precluded by the Second Circuit's judgment and failed on the merits. The court further held that the Coast Guard did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in determining that appellant's dispatch as an independent pilot expired after the 2003 navigation season. The court also rejected appellant's Fifth Amendment due process claim where he had no constitutionally protected entitlement to continued dispatch by the Coast Guard. Finally, the court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant's request for extra-record discovery. View "Richard Menkes v. US Dept. of Homeland Security, et al" on Justia Law