The Supreme Court allowed random drug testing of some federal employees with access to the Old Executive Office Building, next door to the White House.
The justices, without comment, let stand a ruling Monday that said the drug tests are justified as one way to protect the president and vice president.Two Office of Management and Budget employees had urged the nation's highest court to rule that administering the tests without any "probable cause" to suspect drug use violates their privacy rights.
The appeals acted on Monday contended that a federal appeals court ruling allowing random testing of OMB staffers "massively expands the narrow exceptions . . . recognized to the Fourth Amendment's general requirement of probable cause."
The amendment bans unreasonable searches and seizures.
"Taken to its logical end, the (appeals court) decision would permit random testing of virtually any federal employee in the Washington area, since almost any such employee may have access to buildings frequented by members of the Cabinet, members of Congress or justices of this court, whose safety are important governmental interests," the appeal said.
In other action, the court:
- Agreed to use an appeal by a South Carolina dock worker to decide whether employees can sue over alleged discrimination when their union contract requires disputes be handled through arbitration.
- Rejected Missouri's attempt to end its $100 million-a-year financial obligation in the racial desegregation of St. Louis public schools.
- Turned down an appeal by a New York City woman who says her ex-husband saddled her with a crushing $650,000 bill for back taxes that the Internal Revenue Service expects her to pay.
- Refused to revive a copyright infringement lawsuit by Polly Nelson, who accused lawyer-turned-novelist John Grisham of illegally borrowing from her book about being mass murderer Ted Bundy's lawyer for Grisham's best-seller "The Chamber."