- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Administrative Law
- Date Filed: 11-09-2022
- Case #: No. 21-35700
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Nelson, Circuit Judge, for the Court and concurring; Lee, Circuit Judge; and Rakoff, District Judge.
- Full Text Opinion
Magassa, a U.S. citizen and African-American Muslim, had his security badge revoked by the Transportation Security Agency without explanation. As an airline employee, his employment depended on maintaining eligibility for the security badge and airport privileges. Magassa alleged violations of the Administrative Procedure Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and due process.
§ 1981 prohibits intentional discrimination and promises “[a]ll persons” the right to “make and enforce contracts.” 42 U.S.C. § 1981(a). The statute provides that “[t]he rights protected by this section are protected against impairment by nongovernmental discrimination and impairment under color of State law.” Id. § 1981(c). The statute’s plain text does not provide a cause of action for discrimination by federal officials acting under color of federal law or name the persons subject to liability. Therefore, Magassa failed to state a claim under § 1981.
When evaluating procedural due process claims, the Court weighs “(1) [the plaintiff’s] liberty [or property] interests; (2) the risk of an erroneous . . . deprivation through the current traveler redress procedures, and the probable value of additional or substitute procedural safeguards; and (3) the government’s interest in national security, including the administrative burdens that additional procedural requirements would entail.” Kashem v. Barr, 941 F.3d 358, 364, 377 (9th Cir. 2019). Magassa failed to establish a valid interest because he did not have a liberty interest in working for the airlines nor a right to security clearance. Without a right to security clearance or a right to job requiring it, Magassa’s procedural and substantive due process claims failed. Affirmed.