New York, NY, October 14, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has urged the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to allow a Jewish civilian employee of the U.S. Army to sue the government for its egregious discriminatory conduct against him.
In an amicus brief in Tenenbaum v. Ashcroft, the League informed the appeals court how the "dual loyalty" stereotype may have affected David Tenenbaum's security clearance and how it may have affected others seeking or hoping to maintain military or security clearances from the U.S. government.
"David Tenenbaum deserves to have his day in court," said Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director. "Like a number of other Jews who have had security clearances denied or revoked, Mr. Tenenbaum was subjected to special scrutiny simply because he was Jewish and because he had ties to Israel.
"The charge that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America is an insidious anti-Semitic canard that has no place in our society," Ms. Lauter added. "The government should issue security clearances based on facts, rather than preconceived notions or outright bigotry."
A 2008 Department of Defense report concluded that Tenenbaum "was the subject of inappropriate treatment by Department of the Army and Defense Investigative Service officials …" and that, "[b]ut for Mr. Tenenbaum's religion, the investigations would likely have taken a different course."
Tenenbaum was denied the ability to sue for discrimination because the lower court accepted the government claim that "state secrets" prevented it from revealing key facts in this case. The League's brief urges the appeals court to reverse the trial court's determination that their claim is barred, allowing Tenenbaum to have his day in court for the first time in 11 years.
ADL's brief was authored by a team of lawyers led by Eric L. Lohrenz from Jenner & Block LLP.