Less Privacy, No Added Security – Rep. Darrell Issa

December 6, 2010 08:35

Are the new TSA screenings a step backward for liberty? Many say yes. Congressman Issa agrees.

Darrell Issa at NRO


The role that government regulation plays in our daily lives is ever increasing, but it grew dramatically over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Since 1973, an administrative search at airport checkpoints has been deemed constitutional so long as the search is “limited in its intrusiveness as is consistent with satisfaction of the administrative need that justifies it.” The court’s decision, of course, did not address the use of a federal agent’s hands to inspect a passenger’s most intimate body parts. Neither did it foresee the use of sophisticated technology to image a passenger’s body.

It bears repeating that the constitutional right of the people “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” is an inviolable precept of our democracy. If the enhanced-patdown procedures rolled out by TSA a few weeks ago do not constitute an “unreasonable” search without “probable cause” — which the Bill of Rights forbids — then at best, the public outcry against these procedures reflects the deepening distrust that the American people have in their government. The people are steadily losing confidence that the government in general, and federal regulators specifically, are capable of preserving our rights and protecting our lives at the same time.


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