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On January 19, 2011, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in National Aeronautics and Space Administration v. Nelson, finding that questions contained in background checks NASA conducted on independent contractors are reasonable, employment-related inquiries that further the government’s interests in managing its internal operations.  Stating that “[t]he challenged portions of the forms consist of reasonable inquiries in an employment background check,” the Court reversed a Ninth Circuit decision that the questions NASA asked of the contractors invaded their privacy.

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