Saturday, July 23, 2011

Don't be so silly! Of course the TSA's warrantless searches don't violate the Constitution!

This is a really bizarre editorial in the Denver Post:
Regular readers know we've been less than thrilled with what we consider to be the Transportation Security Administration's sometimes ham-handed approach to airport screenings. But we've never claimed that even the incidents that aroused our ire violated the Constitution's 4th Amendment ban on "unreasonable searches and seizures."
...The court points out that "screening passengers at an airport is an 'administrative search' because the primary goal . . . is to protect the public from a terrorist attack." That's significant because an administrative search, as the Supreme Court has ruled, "does not require individualized suspicion" and can be justified by the "degree to which it is needed for the promotion of legitimate governmental interests."
Thankfully, Becky Akers explains what a joke the legal system is with respect to "administrative searches."
You need not be intimately familiar with the era’s history to predict that bureaucratic whim, dictatorship, and injustice quickly dominated aspects of life previously off-limits to government. To quiet rebellious Americans, Franklin Roosevelt signed the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). It prescribed a uniform method by which agencies would legislate — though they designate their laws “regulations” the better to fool us. But consistent or not, tyranny is tyranny.
The APA also provided “relief” for folks whom bureaucratic action “harms.” How? The victim appeals to the agency, which determines the justice of his complaint. I haven’t found statistics on the number of times agencies have ruled against themselves, but I’d bet the farm the figure’s lower than a politician’s morals.