DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY v. EGAN
Supreme Court Cases
484 U.S. 518 (1988)
Reversed. Petitioning party received a favorable disposition.
Title 5 U.S.C. Ch. 75, provides a "two-track" system for undertaking "adverse actions" against certain Government employees. An employee removed for "cause," §§ 7511-7514, has a right of appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (Board), § 7513(d), that includes a hearing. The Board reviews such removals under a preponderance of the evidence standard. § 7701. An employee is also subject to summary removal based on national security concerns. Such a removal is not appealable to the Board, but the employee has certain specified procedural rights, including a hearing by an agency authority. § 7532. Respondent was removed from his laborer's job at a submarine facility after the Navy denied him a required security clearance. Without a security clearance, respondent was not eligible for any job at the facility. Upon respondent's appeal of his removal under § 7513(d), the Board's presiding official reversed the Navy's decision, holding that the Board had the authority to review the merits of the underlying security clearance determination and that the Navy had failed to show that it reached a reasonable and warranted decision on this question. The full Board reversed and sustained the Navy's removal action, but the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, holding that, since the Navy had chosen to remove respondent under § 7512 rather than § 7532, review under § 7513 applied, including review of the merits of the underlying security clearance determination.