Our fight against the nude body scanners has been going on for over 2 years now. In that time span, the merits of the case have never seen the light of day while 1.5 billion travelers have been subject to the hands of the TSA (quite literally). The U.S. Department of Justice, instead of working in the interest of justice, has instead spent the entirety of the time attempting to disenfranchise anyone who has sought court review and ensuring that review of TSA procedures is delayed and marginalized. They’ve challenged standing (whether or not the TSA affects me enough that I’m entitled to review), they’ve challenged jurisdiction (which court I can go in and when I can file), and here and there, they’ve compared me to a terrorist. Nice, right?
But last week’s filing by the government is the most blatant slap to the face the Fifth Amendment has yet received in those 2+ years: the TSA has asked the Court to decide my lawsuit to end the scans and groping solely by reviewing their “administrative record” — which of course contains only the “facts” as the government presents them. They’ve essentially asked the court to bar discovery, experts, witnesses, and any other source of facts, because the TSA knows it all, and will fairly present all the facts to the court.
I truly wonder what kind of person writes these government briefs. Who goes to law school to study the incredible history of American jurisprudence, including and especially the Constitution, to end up in a career where they fight to take away the rights of the citizens?
Corbett v. DHS – Motion to Transfer (.pdf) (My brief)
Corbett v. DHS – Motion to Transfer Opposition (.pdf) (TSA’s brief)
Thank you, Jonathan, for the enormous job you’re doing — probably the best hope of stopping the erosion of our rights in this country, challenging this in the Supreme Court.
As someone who has been critical of the TSA since their inception, I applaud the work you’re doing. I spent 7 1/2 years as a contractor to an airline, and dealt with the TSA on a regular basis, either at checkpoints or getting airport ID’s or other areas. While there are good people manning some checkpoints, bad policy makes good people look bad.
Likewise, in my technology-sector job, I am always reminding people that technology will never fix what is a human-resources problem. In the case of the TSA, put smart well trained people on the front lines with a basic magnetometer (metal detector) and carry on baggage X-Ray, and the airplane will be secure. This works for Israel, why can’t it work here (all of Israel’s screeners are ex-military).
In your piece, you mention “Who goes to law school to study the incredible history of American jurisprudence, including and especially the Constitution, to end up in a career where they fight to take away the rights of the citizens?” The answer is, they don’t. Most schools seem to be intent on teaching “Case Law” where previously decided cases set the standard, and not the Constitution. There are too many (politicians and lawyers) in DC that would rather ignore or scrap the Constitution because it “restricts governement too much” – exactly as it was intended.
Thank you, Michael! Your comment is the perfect explanation. The FedGov/LegalSystem does not practise genuine liberty and law. They practise legal-precedent, statutes and codes. As a result, men, women, and children are being ciminlally-m o l e s t e d by the thousands in our Nation’s airport terminals. The Federal United States Government has degraded itself into nothing more than a criminal-cartel. Congress has facilitated all of it!
TSA Finally Investigating Cancer Risk of X-Ray Body Scanners: