Webster v. Doe

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Websterv. Doe

Websterv. Doe

Thecase, , led to the presentation of constitutional andstatutory claims following a declaration, by a CIA employee, that hisjob termination arose from discrimination on sexual orientation(FindLaw, 2016). John Doe admitted that he was a homosexual.Following the revelation, Doe was given a paid administrative leave.The National Security Act of 1947 gave the CIA director the power toterminate the service of the agency’s employee for the bestinterests of American security. The agency principal cited thevictim’s homosexuality status as a threat to the national security.It is notable that Doe was an exemplary employee who received anoutstanding rating for his work.

Afterhis dismissal, Doe filed a case with a District Court. The petitionermoved in to dismiss the allegation arguing that the director’sdecision precluded judicial review. Section 102(c) of the Act allowedthe CIA boss to terminate the employment of any staff member at hisor her discretion if the worker appeared to pose security risk. Inits determination, the District Court alleged that the APA allowedfor judicial review of the National Security Act. It also claimedthat Doe was discharged unlawfully. The court argued that the agencydid not follow the correct procedures in its regulations regardingthe employment termination. At the Supreme Court, the jury maintainedthat the decision of the CIA chief precluded review. Nonetheless, thecourt contended that the constitutional allegations by the petitionercould be reviewed. They used the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)in making their decision to uphold the ruling of the CIA director(FindLaw, 2016).

Thefindings of the court did not offer significant issues of nationalsecurity that could have justified Doe’s dismissal. Perhaps, manyother homosexuals were working at the agency, but their sexual statusremained secret. The court could have allowed for a review of theconstitutional claims by the petitioner. However, the juryunderscored correctly the importance of separating public and privatematters to safeguard national security. CIA is an important agencythat requires statutory restrictions to help guide the conduct of theemployees (Beermann, 2010).

Theclaim by the CIA supervisor that Doe’s gay status was a securitythreat negated the gains made in entrenching fairness at theworkplace. The director thought that the victim could have sharedclassified information with his sex partners from other parts of theworld. The claim could not be substantiated. It is also evident thatDoe gave the information voluntarily hence, he could not have actedon bad will. The director’s stance on ethical decision-making hadadverse implications on human behavior. Doe’s behavior could easilyjeopardize his relationship with other employees at the agency(Federman &amp Rishel, 2016). It is noteworthy that the principalacted on statutory regulations of the CIA given by the Congress. Theagency had numerous employees who subscribed to the LGBT communityalthough they kept the matter secret.

Ifthe case was brought to the courts today, the jury is likely to givea different conclusion. The American society has changed, withacceptance of members of the LGBT community. In fact, the CIA hasmembers from the same-sex relationship. Some hold senior positions atthe agency. The executive has also come out in support of same-sexrelationships within the counterintelligence departments (Federman &ampRishel, 2016). As such, the court is likely to consider the agent’sadmission and the public mood when making the verdict. Consequently,it would have a difficult period in trying to strike a balancebetween the statutory and constitutional requirements as well asregulations governing intelligence bodies. The most probable scenariois that the jury will be more divided than during the case. The Supreme Court might challenge the director’s decision aswell as rule in favor of the petitioner. The armed forces introducedthe “don’t ask and don’t tell policy” that prohibits officersfrom being obliged to reveal their sexuality to anyone.


Beermann,J. (2010). Administrativelaw.New York, NY: Aspen Publishers.

Federman,P., &amp Rishel, N. (2016). Beyond the Lavender Scare: LGBT andHeterosexual Employees in the Federal Workplace. PublicIntegrity,1-19.

FindLaw.(2016). WEBSTERv. DOE.Retrieved August 29, 2016, fromhttp://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/486/592.html

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