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AFGE v. PERRY

February 23, 1996

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
WILLIAM PERRY, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, et al., Defendants.


HAROLD H. GREENE, United States District Judge


The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREENE

 I

 Background

 Plaintiff AFGE represents current non-supervisory civilian DOD employees holding positions requiring a secret security clearance. DOD performs periodic reinvestigations of these employees to determine their continued suitability. In addition, DOD performs special investigative inquiries ("SII"s) any time a question arises as to an employee's qualifications to hold a secret security clearance.

 Defendant Department of Defense has drafted and implemented security questionnaires for use in these reinvestigations. *fn1" Completion of a security questionnaire entails signing a release that purports to authorize an accredited DOD employee to obtain virtually all public and private information about the individual who signs the release. An employee refusing to submit a completed questionnaire and release form may lose his security clearance and be reassigned or removed.

 Plaintiffs challenge five provisions of the security questionnaires: (1) questions demanding information about the employee's criminal history; *fn2" (2) questions demanding information about any kind of drug use and drug activities; *fn3" (3) questions demanding information about the employee's mental health; *fn4" (4) questions demanding information about the employee's credit history; and (5) the release form. *fn5"

 Plaintiffs have moved for summary judgment, seeking declaratory, injunctive, and other relief. The government has moved to dismiss or for summary judgment.

 II

 Standing

 The government argues that AFGE does not have standing to bring this suit.

 A union may represent its members in litigation if

 
(a) its members would otherwise have standing to sue in their own rights; (b) the interests it seeks to protect are germane to the organization's purpose; and (c) neither the claim asserted nor the relief requested requires the participation of individual members in the lawsuit.

 Hunt v. Washington State Apple Advertising Comm'n, 432 U.S. 333, 343, 53 L. Ed. 2d 383, 97 S. Ct. 2434 (1977).

 In National Treasury Employees Union v. Department of the Treasury, this Court held that to have representational standing, a union must represent a class of employees which is narrowly tailored such that the employees' claims are similar and the government's need for the compelled information would presumably be the same as to all such employees. No. 92-1150, slip op. at 10 (D.D.C. Feb. 12, 1993). In the instant case, AFGE represents virtually all non-supervisory civilian employees within DOD holding positions requiring a secret security clearance. In this posture, AFGE bears the burden of showing that no set of circumstances exist under which the challenged provisions would be lawful. National Fed'n of Fed. Employees v. Greenberg, 299 U.S. App. D.C. 261, 983 F.2d 286, 294 (D.C. Cir. 1993).

 Civilian non-supervisory employees hold various positions and perform various functions within DOD. It is unquestionable that the government may legitimately ask the challenged questions of some non-supervisory civilian DOD employees holding positions requiring a secret security clearance. As such, the participation of individual employees is required for the Court to adjudicate plaintiffs' ...


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