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National Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab

United States Supreme Court
489 U.S. 656 (1989)


The United States Customs Service (the Service) was a federal agency charged with protecting the borders of the United States. In May 1986, William von Raab (defendant), the commissioner of the Service, implemented a new drug-testing program. This program made successful drug testing a condition of promotion for employees seeking to be promoted to three categories of positions: (1) positions directly involved with the interdiction of illegal drugs, (2) positions requiring the carrying of firearms in the line of duty, and (3) positions with access to classified material. Under the program, an employee who tested positive without a legitimate explanation was subject to dismissal. The National Treasury Employees Union (plaintiff) challenged the drug-testing program on the ground that the program violated the Fourth Amendment. The district court enjoined the program, and the court of appeals vacated the injunction. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

Dissent (Scalia, J.)

Dissent (Marshall, J.)

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