Friday, August 12, 2005

"Double Secret Discrimination"

As you can see, I am still catching up on my Fourth Circuit reading. There's been a flurry of new employment-related cases these last few weeks.

In Sterling v. Tenet, No. 04-1495 (4th Cir. August 03, 2005) (PDF), the Fourth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a Title VII discrimination case under the "state secrets doctrine" because the case would have required disclosure of highly classified information concerning the identity, location, and assignments of CIA operatives. The racial discrimination claim was brought against the Director of Central Intelligence and ten unnamed CIA employees by a CIA covert agent.

"The Director has satisfied us, as he did the district court, of the 'reasonable danger that the [material sought by Sterling] would contain references to the secret' anti-terror or other national security concerns that were 'the primary concern' of hiring Sterling as a covert operative in the first place. We are neither authorized nor qualified to inquire further."

The court found that the plaintiff would have to live the results of the CIA's internal EEO complaint process.

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