TSA should explain — or end — its body scanner program

A year ago the D.C. Circuit told the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that it needed to go through notice-and-comment rulemaking for its controversial program of full-body scanners at airports. The rulemaking process is intended to ensure that the agency lays out clearly the factual, legal and policy basis for its actions, with a chance for opponents to lodge objections and establish a basis for judicial review. As my colleague Jim Harper points out, the agency has dragged its heels about doing this — a sort of passive resistance it would probably not tolerate from the hapless citizens stuck in its lines. TSA screening is one of the most widely resented governmental intrusions on the individual citizen of our era. Shouldn’t we all demand that the federal government demonstrate adequate justification for imposing it? [Cato at Liberty and Ars Technica; Consumerist; Constitutional Law Prof, 2011] (& welcome National Review “Web Briefing” readers; John LaPlante, Detroit News “Water Cooler”)


  • How naive to think that the TSA would actually do what the court wanted. Complying with court orders is for the little people.

  • Would someone please ask Mitt Romney about ending TSA’s madness at the airports and elsewhere? I never hear him comment on it, or get asked. A strong stand would go a long way toward making freedom loving Americans feel better about supporting him.

  • Well, I haven’t seen that the judges are exempt from searches when they travel. Any gang that can execute a strip search and full body cavity search “just because” trumps the requests of just some guy in a black robe.

  • I can’t understand why you lawyers aren’t all over this bunch. Do you realize that if any woman had a baby that was in any way not the best and brightest in the world and had been through one of these scanners, she could collect a bunch of money. Or how about any older individual who develops cataracts. Or someone who develops thyroid cancer. You people are not doing your jobs.

  • […] continues violating court order on rulemaking By steve, on July 12th, 2012 from Overlawyered: TSA screening is one of the most widely resented governmental intrusions on the individual citizen […]

  • The government ignores court orders because judges allow them to. Agencies know there is no real penalty for non-compliance. Holding one agency director in contempt and jailing him would do wonders, but it ain’t gonna happen.