Court reverses error on injunction review

A federal appeals court might still review an injunction that shielded employees at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) from the background investigations required under Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12.

The latest decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed an earlier mandate issued April 25. In that action, the court rejected a petition from government to review an injunction filed earlier this month that temporarily halted the background checks.

NASA and the other employer in the case, the California Institute of Technology, called for the review on April 10. A three-judge panel of the larger appeals court granted the lab employees the injunction January 11.

However, the entire appeals court released a statement on April 28 stating that the mandate was issued in error.

Twenty-seven employees of the JPL sued NASA and Caltech over HSPD-12 background checks, stating the level of scrutiny was unnecessary because none of the lab employees worked with classified projects.

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