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National Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab

Significance, Impact, Further Readings


National Treasury Employees Union


William Von Raab, Commissioner, U.S. Custom Service

Petitioner's Claim

Chemical drug testing of U.S. Customs Service employees (considered a "search") was constitutionally intrusive and irregular under the provisions of the Fourth Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Lois G. Williams

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Charles Fried

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, Anthony M. Kennedy (writing for the Court), Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

21 March 1989


The Fourth Amendment rights of U.S. Customs Service employees were not violated by drug screening for employees serving in or applicants applying for positions in which they might perform "sensitive tasks" or for employees applying for promotion to sensitive positions.

Related Cases

  • O'Connor v. Ortega, 480 U.S. 709 (1987).
  • Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives' Assn.,489 U.S. 6oz (1989).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994