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Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean

Docket No.: 13-894
Certiorari Granted: May 19 2014
Argued: November 4, 2014
Decided: January 21, 2015


Civil Service Reform Act, EPA, FOIA, Federal Aviation Administration, Freedom of Information Act

PartyNames: Department of Homeland Security v. Robert J. MacLean
Petitioner: Department of Homeland Security
Respondent: Robert J. MacLean

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Citation: 714 F.3d 1301
Supreme Court Docket

Department of Homeland Security
Robert J. MacLean
Question Presented:

Congress has directed that the Transportation Security Administration "shall prescribe regulations prohibiting" the "disclosure of information obtained or developed" in carrying out certain transportation security functions, if the agency "decides" that "disclosing the information would * * * be detrimental" to transportation security. Aviation and Transportation Security Act, Pub. L. No. 107-71, Section 101(e), 115 Stat. 603; Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L No. 107-296, Tit. XVI, Section 1601(b), 116 Stat. 2312. Such information is referred to in the regulations as "Sensitive Security Information." See, e.g., 67 Fed. Reg. 8351 (Feb. 22, 2002). The question presented is whether certain statutory protections codified at 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8)(A), which are inapplicable when an employee makes a disclosure "specifically prohibited by law," can bar an agency from taking an enforcement action against an employee who intentionally discloses Sensitive Security Information.

Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean

November 4, 2014

Listen to Oral Argument in Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean
Vote: 7-2
Majority: Chief Justice Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Kagan
Dissenting: Sotomayor,Kennedy
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