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5 U.S.C.S. §§ 701(a)(1) and (2) remove from judicial review only those determinations specifically identified by Congress or committed to agency discretion by law. Nothing in § 102(c) of the National Security Act of 1947 indicates that Congress meant to preclude consideration of colorable constitutional claims arising out of the actions of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency pursuant to § 102(c); a constitutional claim based on an individual discharge may be reviewed by the district court.
Section 102(c) of the National Security Act of 1947 (NSA) authorizes the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), "in his discretion," to terminate the employment of any CIA employee "whenever he shall deem such termination necessary or advisable in the interests of the United States." After a covert electronics technician in the CIA's employ, voluntarily informed the agency that he was a homosexual, he was discharged by the Director. Respondent filed suit against petitioner in Federal District Court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging violations of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), of his rights to property, liberty, and privacy, and of his rights to procedural due process and equal protection of the laws under the Fifth Amendment. The district court denied the CIA's motion to dismiss the action and granted the employee's motion for partial summary judgment. On appeal, the appellate court vacated the district court's judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings. Certiorari was granted to review termination decisions of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were judicially reviewable under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).
Are termination decisions of the CIA judicially reviewable under APA?
The Supreme Court found that 5 U.S.C.S. § 706 precluded judicial review of an agency termination decision. Accordingly, the Supreme Court found that the appellate court erred in finding the employee's termination reviewable. However, the Supreme Court found that § 102(c) of the National Security Act of 1947 did not preclude judicial review of the employee's constitutional claims.