Elon Musk's SpaceX company has just filed a lawsuit against U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
The lawsuit, according to CNBC, is actually a counter-suit.
It comes after the DOJ, last month, sued SpaceX alleging that the company has been engaging in discrimination in its hiring practices.
The lawsuit followed a government investigation of the company that had been ongoing since 2020. The investigation was reportedly prompted by a complaint that the government had received about the company.
The suit claims that “from at least September 2018 to May 2022, SpaceX routinely discouraged asylees and refugees from applying and refused to hire or consider them, because of their citizenship status, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA),” according to an August 24 DOJ news release.
SpaceX has denied this claim. And, now, the company is going on the offense with a suit of its own.
SpaceX has specifically filed the suit against Garland, Administrative Law Judge Carol Bell, and Chief Administrative Hearing Officer James McHenry.
In its filing, SpaceX's legal team writes:
SpaceX has not engaged in any practice or pattern of discriminating against anyone, including asylees or refugees. To the contrary, SpaceX wants to hire the very best candidates for every job regardless of their citizenship status, and in fact has hired hundreds of noncitizens.
Then, the legal team goes on to allege that the DOJ's lawsuit against SpaceX is unconstitutional.
"But aside from being factually and legally insupportable, the government's proceedings are unconstitutional for at least four reasons," the filing reads.
(1) the administrative law judge (ALJ) adjudicating the government's complaint was unconstitutionally appointed; (2) the ALJ is unconstitutionally insulated from Presidential authority because she is protected by two layers of for-cause removal protections; (3) the ALJ is unconstitutionally purporting to adjudicate SpaceX's rights in an administrative proceeding rather than in federal court; and (4) the ALJ is unconstitutionally denying SpaceX its Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial.
To help understand these claims, the lawsuit that the government brought against SpaceX was an administrative proceeding. And, here, SpaceX is alleging that the proceeding is flawed in several ways.
In the filing, SpaceX's legal team asked for an injunction that would, essentially, put a stop to the lawsuit that the government has filed against it.
At the time of this writing, the U.S. government has not responded to SpaceX's counter-suit. The government also has yet to publicly comment on it.