TSA Brief: Violating the 4th Amendment

TAC Texas Brief- Transportation Security Administration    

Author: Dr. Daniel R. Coleman, D.B.A., Communications Coordinator, Tenth Amendment Center-Texas

Contributing Author: Steve Baysinger, Chair, Tenth Amendment Center-Texas

Background:

Prior to March, 2003, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was a division of the Department of Transportation (DOT).  Today, the TSA is part of the Department of Homeland Security whose mission is to protect “the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce,” (TSA 2011).

According to a study by William and Mary University (Atkinson, Boardman, Walters, 2009):

  • Prior to the TSA’s assuming the responsibility for security at the nation’s airports, it was the responsibility of each individual airport, and the airlines providing service to the public, to provide transportation security.
  • Prior to the September 11, 2001, assault on America there were approximately 28,000 screeners in U.S. airports, with an estimated annual security cost of $1 billion to the US airline industry.
  • In 2002, the TSA was initially composed of a small group of employees with expenses totaling $95 million. As of 2009, the TSA had more than 50,000 employees and expenses of $4.733 billion!

Approximately 50,000 Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) work at 450 airports nationwide. The TSOs screen nearly 2 million passengers a day,” (TSA, 2011). According to John Pistole, Director of TSA (as of November 2010) there are 385 AIT scanners in 70 airports across the country, but “he expects to expand that number to one thousand by the end of 2011,” (as cited by CNN, 2011). Further, TSA declares “Anyone who refuses to complete the screening process will be denied access to airport secure areas and could be subject to civil penalties,” (as cited by CNN).

Analysis:

 The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution:

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Tennessee: 2012 State Legislative Priorities

The Tennessee General Assembly will begin its 2012 legislative session this week.  This begins the hard work of communicating with and encouraging our state legislators to stand up to the continued encroachments of the federal government on the rights of the citizens of the State of Tennessee.  For 2012, we are keeping our priorities simple.

Priority 1: Sheriffs First (HB0959/SB1108)

Last year, Sen. Stacey Campfield and Rep. Bill Dunn introduced legislation that will require federal law enforcement officers to seek the permission of the county sheriff before executing an arrest, search, or seizure in the state of Tennessee except in specific situations.  The bill states:

“A federal employee who is not designated by state law as a Tennessee peace officer may not make an arrest, search, or seizure in this state without the written permission of the sheriff or designee of the sheriff of the county in which the arrest, search, or seizure will occur.”

Why is this bill needed?  We have seen a vast erosion of our rights as Tennesseans and Americans, even over just the last year.  With the Gibson Guitar factory raids, the extension of the Patriot act, and now the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) containing language that could be construed to allow for the indefinite detention of Tennesseans without probable cause or a trial it is critical that our state and local officials stand up to this overreach and provide real protection for Tennesseans from these egregious unconstitutional actions of the federal government.

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New Jersey Assembly Democrats – Tenthers on Education?

Recently, I came across an article on my Facebook page that dealt with local choice in education on the issue of charter schools. The author, Marilyn Joyce Lehren brings up some very good points about the people of the town being able to decide whether or not they want charter schools in their community, as well as what standards should be applied. The interesting part of how I got to the article was the group that had shared it on their wall, none other than the New Jersey Assembly Democrats.

Now the New Jersey Democrats as a whole have very often been unfriendly to the Tenther agenda in general. While I’m on the topic, many New Jersey Republicans haven’t exactly been noble defenders of state, local, family and individual sovereignty. Trenton, in this very blue state, has generally been very…let’s just say “involved” in the daily lives of New Jerseyans, and has been very helpful to DC in staying “involved” as well.

No doubt the legislators in our state are not truly interested in local control. Rather, they use the argument to stifle the charter school movement and preserve the teachers’ unions’ power and one size fits all education. Still, there are some compelling arguments in the article and from Democrat lawmakers themselves if severed from their known loyalties.

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