The outrage caused by the TSA over the past few weeks continues to fuel questions of the Obama administration’s priorities and intentions when it comes to protecting and respecting the rights of American citizens as opposed to those of suspected/captured terrorists enemy combatants. Many stories and videos of groping, aggressive searches of adults and children, TSA threats, and humiliation are coming to light, but the larger story is the civil rights violations by the TSA.
First, the Constitution provides all Americans with protection against unreasonable searches. A lawsuit may be one appropriate means to attack the TSA groping and full body scan policy. The United States Code provides a statute to enable Americans to sue the federal government for the TSA’s activities at 42 U.S.C. 1983:
Every person who under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, Suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable.
Meanwhile, Governor Bobby Jindal lambasted the Obama administration’s policies. Via The Hill:
“I think the American people are worried when they see an administration worried about reading Miranda rights to the underwear bomber,” Jindal said. “[They’re] so worried about rights of the terrorists, what about the rights of innocent American travelers?”
“I’m concerned out of political correctness we’re screening people that don’t need it,” Jindal said, adding that TSA should look at passengers’ travel patterns, how they purchased their ticket and other information to screen which passengers pose a threat.
In addition to 4th Amendment violations, when you look at the extensive list of court motions, cases, and rulings for enemy combantants’ rights/habeas corpus compared to how the DHS and TSA are treating its own citizens, it is any wonder why people are so frustrated and angry. The Obama administration obsesses over repairing relations with the Muslim world, but when it comes to protecting the rights of Americans, we are told to deal with it–further sensitizing, dividing, and polarizing the country. So where’s the balance? Where’s the respect for the rights of the American people? Obama supports the Ground Zero Mosque out of respect for the “right” to build it, which many regard it as pandering and incomprehensible. However, the TSA and DHS are trampling the rights of Americans protected by the Constitution, which appears to be something that we will just have to deal with as the TSA makes some adjustments to its current policies.