In response to a lawsuit accusing SpaceX of hiring discrimination, the private space company is seeking dismissal of the case filed by the Justice Department for being unconstitutional.
SpaceX filed its own lawsuit on Friday at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against Department of Justice officials, denying the allegations and claiming that the proceedings against the company are unconstitutional, SpaceNews reported.
In its lawsuit, SpaceX argues that the administrative law judge assigned to the federal government’s case is “unconstitutionally insulated from Presidential authority,” the complaint reads. The private space company is also arguing that SpaceX is being denied its right to a jury, with the case being argued in an administrative proceeding rather than in federal court.
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against SpaceX on August 23 for allegedly refusing to hire refugees and asylum seekers, claiming in its job postings that the company could only hire U.S. citizens and permanent residents (or so-called green card holders). SpaceX allegedly cited export control laws such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations for its hiring requirements since rockets are considered advanced weapons technology, according to the complaint.
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk claimed that his company “was told repeatedly that hiring anyone who was not a permanent resident of the United States would violate international arms trafficking law, which would be a criminal offense,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “This is yet another case of weaponization of the DOJ for political purposes,” Musk added.
In its lawsuit, the company 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.”