Bailey (plaintiff) was employed at will by the executive branch of the federal government. At the time, there was an unusually high level of public concern over the possible disloyalty of federal government employees. Bailey was accused of disloyalty, but the accusers were not identified. The government held hearings at which Bailey swore she was loyal. However, the government did not even reveal the identity of her accusers, let alone present them at the hearings. Without ever identifying the source of the accusations, the government found reason to believe that Bailey was disloyal and fired her. The government never explained or substantiated its finding. Bailey sued Richardson and other federal officials (defendants) in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Bailey contended that her dismissal violated the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protected her from the deprivation of her life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The district court ruled against Bailey. Bailey appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.