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Webster v. Doe

United States Supreme Court
486 U.S. 592 (1988)



John Doe (plaintiff) began working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1973. Over the course of his time at the CIA, Doe received excellent reviews and a promotion. In 1982, he informed a CIA security officer that he was gay. The Director of the CIA (Director) (defendant) then fired Doe on the ground that his homosexuality posed a threat to security. Doe sued the Director, arguing that the agency’s decision to fire him violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and deprived him of his constitutionally protected rights to property, liberty, and privacy; procedural due process; and equal protection. In response to Doe’s suit, the Director argued that § 102(c) of the National Security Act (NSA) precludes judicial review of his dismissal decisions. Section 102 provides that an agency employee may be terminated if the Director "shall deem such termination necessary or advisable in the interests of the United States." The appellate court found that Doe’s termination was reviewable. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (O'Connor, J.)

Dissent (Scalia, J.)

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