Saturday, November 20, 2010

TSA violation of 4th amendment rights

Recently it has been all over the news about the TSA and its intrusive procedures during the pat downs and body scans. The arguments vary from we need this to prevent another terrorist attack to this violates my 4th amendment rights. Both arguments are valid, but which one holds precedents?

We as American's have always been willing to sacrifice our freedoms for our security, but how far is far enough or too far? Under the 4th amendment it states that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The question is are these unreasonable searches or are they reasonable? What is determined to a reasonable search?

After reading judgments from as far back as 1886 to present on 4th amendment violations, I have noticed a slippery slope. In Boyd v. United States the government was found in violation of the 4th amendment because they searched a business owners papers to Kyllo v. United States where the decision was overturned in favor and against because the police used thermal imaging devices to find a pot grower. It seems to me that the Supreme Court has stepped outside of the US to make an argument that favors their position starting back as far as the 1960's creating slippery slopes to form justice to their ideals instead of the original intent of the law.

After reading the summaries of the 4th amendment cases I would say if this goes to the supreme court it will be upheld because of cases like Carroll v. United states where the police officer was able to make an arrest on a bootlegger because he looked inside the car and saw alcohol. Although the intent of the Supreme Court was to make sure that the criminal didn't escape justice because of a technicality, so they looked the other way. This created the notion that this type of violation was condoned by the courts whereas the original intent of the 4th amendment would classify the car as someone's personal effects.

If this were to be put before the Supreme Court today they would rule that we do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy when boarding a plane, which is somewhat true, but I would argue Bond v. United States. The Supreme Court would also possibly argue that because we don't know who the terrorists are, all citizens are suspects and therefor must be searched before getting on a plane to ensure safety.

Not forgetting about the other side of the argument, what about the security of all passengers flying on airplanes? The fact is, all these security measures that we're putting in place are reactionary not proactive. The government states that these types of devices were allowed because of the Patriot Act and also the underwear bomber. We've just recently found out that there was another suicide bomber attempt to blow up a plane with a rectally inserted bomb. The question is, when do the rectal exams start? Recently it has been reported that those wearing the female Muslim garb are being excluded from these searches in observance of their religious beliefs.

I think that we are using a false flag of security to remove our basic rights of the constitution. If you read any of my previous articles you will see I'm very protective of my 1st and 4th amendment rights, but I also know they must be used wisely. The fact that we're using full body scanners to see under people's clothes and then sexually assaulting passengers who wish to opt out is a grotesque violation of any person weather they're under communism or an America Republic. There are other ways to get this done and without the government. Security doesn't mean that you must give up your basic rights just to have security. Israel is able to successfully keep itself safe from suicide bombers on airplanes through highly trained individuals. Also, we're not hearing these types of complaints come out of airports where the security is private like San Francisco. I think that we need to actually use some sort of intelligence other than demeaning our people just to catch a few hundred bad guys who want to do us harm. There are more efficient and logical ways to get the job done even better without the actions of the TSA

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
http://www.fourthamendmentsummaries.com/

1 comments:

Anonymous said...
Saturday, 27 November, 2010

Very well thought out! Really helped me get a better idea of what's happening. I'll be visiting this website from now on. :)

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