Friday, April 26, 2013

4th Circuit Says No Jurisdiction To Review Security Clearance Revocation

In Hegab v. Long, (4th Cir., April 25, 2013), the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a claim by an employee of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency that his top secret security clearance was unconstitutionally revoked.  When Mahmoud Hegab married Bushra Nusairat, a review of his security clearance was conducted.  His clearance was revoked, primarily because Nusairat had been employed by the non-profit Islamic Relief U.S.A.  Judge Niemeyer, in an opinion in which Judge Davis concurred, held that the court lacks jurisdiction to review the merits of a security clearance determination, and that Hegab's constitutional allegations are merely a recharacterization of his challenge to the merits of the determination.

Judge Motz concurred, holding that the court lacked jurisdiction to review an individualized security clearance determination even when a constitutional violation is alleged. Judge Davis concurred, concluding that a colorable constitutional claim had been asserted, but that it is a non-justiciable political question. AP reports on the decision.