The Elon Musk-owned SpaceX won a court order preventing the Department of Justice’s hiring discrimination lawsuit from moving forward, as reported earlier by Reuters. In a decision on Wednesday, US District Judge Rolando Olvera ruled that the DOJ’s administrative judges don’t have the authority to review the case.
The DOJ sued SpaceX in August over allegations that the company refused to hire asylum seekers and refugees. The agency, which has been investigating SpaceX’s hiring practices since 2020, accused SpaceX of discouraging refugees and asylum seekers from applying “by wrongly stating that SpaceX can only hire U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.”
SpaceX countersued the DOJ in response, alleging that the administrative law judges (ALJs) on the case were “unconstitutionally appointed” because they possess authority that only those appointed by the president should have. Judge Olvera sided with SpaceX in his ruling and said that the judges don’t have the authority to oversee the case. The DOJ declined to comment.
SpaceX has denied claims that it engaged in hiring discrimination. “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,” the company argued in its countersuit.
Update November 9th, 4:52PM ET: Added that the DOJ declined to comment.