Things seem to be progressing downhill rapidly as far as our rights to be free from government here in the United States, and although I expect the courts to push back on it, I’m sure that slowly things will continue down that hill. If the courts do refuse to push back on nude body scanners and groping, just as they’ve refused to push back on absurd border searches, I think perhaps the only thing that can save our freedom without revolution would be a constitutional amendment.

So, I attempted to draft an amendment that would solve the issues that I see, and I’d be interested to hear what you think and what your proposed amendment would be to solve these problems. The abuses that I wanted to prevent in my amendment were:

  • TSA abuses and other abuses of the administrative search doctrine
  • Border search abuse, including the “constitution-free zone” and the confiscation of laptops
  • Any potential for a US person being held without probable cause, including incidents like the 3 people who were arrested and strip-searched without probable cause described in my previous post, as well as long-term detention by classifying someone as a terrorist or enemy combatant, or by declaring some kind of emergency (WWII-style round-ups).
  • Express prohibition of secret laws, rules, proceedings, and evidence, from the terms of the SOP to sections of the Patriot Act
  • A guarantee of the ability to seek redress in court without limitations via immunity or laws interfering with jurisdiction

Here’s what I came up with:

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution

The rights of the people to be free from search and seizure absent probable cause and warrant, to due process, to habeus corpus, to redress of grievances, and to be held subject only to public proceedings to take place within the United States and without the presence of secret rules or evidence, shall not be abridged, regardless of circumstance, including war, terrorism, or emergency, regardless of location within this land, including travel centers and borders, regardless of citizenship, and regardless of the variety of government effecting the intrusion. No search doctrines of administrative, border, or otherwise shall exempt a search from these requirements, save for minimally-invasive port and border searches narrowly-tailored only to protect the safety of those traveling and prevent the importation of contraband, but under no circumstances may such a search rise to a level that would offend the modesty, including by invasive touching or imaging, or offend the privacy, including by browsing and reading documents, of reasonable persons without reasonable suspicion. Immunity is waived as to any official or entity infringing upon these rights, including the United States of America itself, and jurisdiction shall be retained by the United States District Courts for all claims arising therefrom.

–Jon