NASA v. Nelson Decided

November 15, 2012

Whether the government may require Caltech employees working under contract at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in "low-risk" and "non-sensitive" jobs to disclose, among other things, information about medical treatment and psychological counseling that they may have received in connection with illegal drug use.

This is an as-applied challenge to a recently-adopted policy requiring Caltech employees who work under contract at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a NASA facility, to disclose information about medical treatment and psychological counseling that they may have received in connection with illegal drug use. The ACLU amicus brief argues that the information sought by NASA is protected by the constitutional right to informational privacy, regardless of whether it is further disseminated by the government or has been selectively shared with others by the employee, and that NASA has not demonstrated on this record an adequate justification for seeking such highly personal and intimate information.

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