Saturday, March 12, 2016

Why not? "Other Legal Issues"

This is the next part in our series highlighting the issues addressed by the public during the TSA's belated request for public input on the naked scanners (aka, AIT, Advanced Imaging Technology):

Commenters raised other legal issues in opposing AIT. Several individual commenters, a non-profit organization, and several advocacy groups stated that AIT scanning and/or opt-out process violates rights guaranteed by the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments, respectively. Commenters did not generally provide further substantive legal arguments in support of these constitutional claims. An advocacy group, however, cited a Supreme Court case, Aptheker v. Sec’y of State, 378 U.S. 500, 505 (1964), which held that if a law “too broadly and indiscriminately restricts the right to travel” it “thereby abridges the liberty guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.” The commenter further stated that the court considered relevant “that Congress has within its power ‘less drastic’ means of achieving the congressional objective of safeguarding our national security.” An individual commenter cited U.S. v. Guest, 383 U.S. 745 (1966) and Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969) in opposing the use of AIT. Another advocacy group cited 49 U.S.C. 40101, 40103, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a treaty that the U.S. has ratified, as further reinforcing the right to travel. The commenter remarked that the NPRM does not recognize that travel by air and, specifically, by common carrier, is a right and that TSA must evaluate its proposed actions within that context. Similarly, an individual commenter stated that TSA’s use of AIT involves limitations on constitutional rights and, therefore, strict scrutiny should be the judicial review standard applied. Another individual commenter stated that implementation of AIT scanners assumes travelers’ guilt, which is in violation of the principle of the presumption of innocence.
One individual commenter stated that it is outside of TSA’s mission to identify and confiscate items that are not a threat (e.g., illegal drugs) and that such “mission creep” is an inappropriate use of Federal funds and distracts TSA staff from their actual mission. Other individual commenters stated that AIT and pat-downs violate laws prohibiting sexual molestation. A non-profit organization suggested that TSA review and modify its policies to ensure that they do not conflict with existing state law procedures protecting children from physical and sexual assault or with existing child protective services legislation.