I was not optimistic that Freedom To Travel would carry the day in a lawsuit against the TSA, but they’re scored a legal victory in the preliminaries, so heartiest congrats to them! I received a press release explaining this triumph; so far as I can tell, it’s not available online, so allow me to present it in its entirety here:
Freedom to Travel USA was granted permission, in an extremely rare event for an Amicus organization, to participate in oral arguments in the most important 4th Amendment case in recent years, covering over 675 million passengers affected annually by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). The case before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit is Redfern, et al v. Napolitano (web link http://fttusa.org ), which concerns the TSA’s unprecedented inch-by-inch body searches using body scanners and “pat downs” that invade the privacy of individuals by requiring citizens to be forced to have their sexual organs examined.
OK, let’s pause a moment to marvel at such unmitigated evil, that the United States’ government forces individuals to “have their sexual organs examined” as a condition of travel. Forces. As in rape. Imagine a petty pervert at an equally petty and perverted bureaucracy informing George Washington that Martha will be groped before she climbs into the next carriage. Rather mitigates the entire American Revolution, doesn’t it? I daresay even the abominable Abraham Lincoln might have had qualms about the bureaucratic regime whose ground-work he was laying had one of the TSA’s goons attempted to molest him before he boarded a crony’s train.
But back to the press release:
The critical legal position advocated by Freedom To Travel USA is to urge the Court to properly develop a factual record on the intrusiveness and effectiveness of the new TSA searches. There has been no legal discovery process in any legal case concerning the TSA’s effect on passengers, and without the opportunity to introduce evidence, Freedom To Travel USA argues that an important decision about the constitutional rights of passengers would not be fully reasoned and fair.
The unique position of Freedom To Travel USA includes special attention focused on the additional burden that searches place on subclasses of citizens such as women, seniors, disabled persons, and children. Their experiences – they are often subject to intensive profiling – have not been part of any Court record, and this repeated intrusiveness should be considered before rendering a full decision on the constitutional merits of this case.
The United States Court of Appeals First Circuit scheduled hearing date and time for oral arguments is:
Hearing is April 3rd, 2013, 10:00AM EST at John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse 1 Courthouse Way
Boston, Massachusetts 02210 Court Link: http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/?content=calendar.htm
The attorney who will represent Freedom To Travel USA as amicus curiae at oral argument will be Mahesha Subbaraman, of the firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.
ABOUT Freedom to Travel USA ( http://www.fttusa.org ): FTTUSA is an unincorporated, non-partisan grassroots civic association with hundreds of members nationwide. Freedom to Travel USA believes that air travel in America should be free not only from security risks but also from the risk of unreasonable searches, as provided under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
FREEDOM TO TRAVEL USA is an organization with members in 47 states and Canada. We are devoted to restoring Constitutional protections currently being violated by the DHS and TSA9:48 am on March 25, 2013 Email Becky Akers