Justice Department: TSA Has Authority To Literally Strip Search People

Steve Watson | Naked body scanners court case underway, throws up disturbing precedents

A government attorney has told federal appeals court judges that the Department of Homeland Security has the authority to literally strip search Americans inside airports if it determines that is the correct course of action to deal with “ever-evolving threats”.

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) “should not have to stop every five minutes for comment and rulemaking” said Justice Department lawyer Beth Brinkmann in oral testimony before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In a hypothetical scenario, a three-judge panel, hearing testimony both for and against the use of body scanning technology within airports, questioned whether the TSA would be required to seek public input before initiating mandatory strip search procedures.

Judge David Tatel directly asked if the TSA would need to take public “notice and comment” before implementing such rules if “a terrorist gets through and blows up the airport.”

“No,” Brinkmann answered.

The government attorney added that Congress requires the TSA to use the scanners or any other “effective technology” to protect the airlines, so no public input is necessary.

“You may well be right,” Tatel responded.


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March 12th, 2011

Staff Reporter EducationNews.org

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