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.
Freedom of association is already on the books.. but they ignore it.
A simpler suggestion. Legislation.
SHORT TITLE “Preserve the 4th Amendment Act”.
“Administrative searches which include strip searches, performed by physical or technological means, or touching of the sexual organs, buttocks, and female breasts are considered “unreasonable” and in violation of the 4th Amendment.
Any United States government entity, agent, or person acting under the authority of a United States government entity, who performs an administrative search which violates the 4th Amendment is subject to all applicable criminal codes and liable for all civil remedies.”
This eliminates the problems. It preserves security in 2 ways. IF there is actual prior suspicion, then it can become a criminal search and law enforcement may perform strip searches and touching of sexual organs/etc. under their currently granted powers. Also, this would NOT impact existing law enforcement officers since it is for administrative searches and not normal conduct by law enforcement.