We're up to the same-old same-old when it comes to the civic discourse on the very important topic of airport security and the newly instituted T.S.A. body scanning protocol: Silly and circular discussions have taken the place of a debate with good facts, good thinking and plain old good sense. We've started this page hoping that you can help us gather resources that will promote a dialogue befitting the great country we are. Add important information in this main section, add important facts on the right side along with links to must-reads. You may even want to toss in your own op-ed.
As opponents of the procedure likely head to court to sort this out, George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen handicaps it:
Although the Supreme Court hasn't evaluated airport screening technology, lower courts have emphasized, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in 2007, that "a particular airport security screening search is constitutionally reasonable provided that it 'is no more extensive nor intensive than necessary, in the light of current technology, to detect the presence of weapons or explosives.' "
In a 2006 opinion for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, then-Judge Samuel Alito stressed that screening procedures must be both "minimally intrusive" and "effective" - in other words, they must be "well-tailored to protect personal privacy," and they must deliver on their promise of discovering serious threats. Alito upheld the practices at an airport checkpoint where passengers were first screened with walk-through magnetometers and then, if they set off an alarm, with hand-held wands. He wrote that airport searches are reasonable if they escalate "in invasiveness only after a lower level of screening disclose[s] a reason to conduct a more probing search."
Here's how the fourth amendment reads:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
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