A Supreme Court ruling recently upheld the decision that all federal contractors must submit to extensive background screenings, the New York Times reports. The ruling came as a confirmation of a 2004 law that required background screening
to be extended to federal contractors, in addition to full-time employees.
The Supreme Court upheld the original ruling after a lawsuit was put forward and confirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2008. That court ruled in favor of the 28 employees from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology - a facility contracted by NASA. The Supreme Court's ruling overturned the appellate court. Two concerns were raised during the ruling, focusing on background screening for drug use and counseling, plus information gathering regarding educational, employment and residential history. The ruling found that such practices were not outside the norm for public and private employment opportunities. It was a unanimous ruling that will force all scientists and engineers to undergo background checks
, which the 28 Cal Tech contractors believed violated their right to "informational privacy," the Times details.