by Aaron Libby, Maine State Representative. As given in public testimony in favor of LD841 on March 29, 2013.
Good morning Senator Gerzofsky, Representative Dion and members of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. I am Representative Aaron Libby and I represent the residents of District 139. As the sponsor of this bill, I’m here today to speak in support of its passage.
The right to travel is a fundamental human right. A person’s ability to travel is crucial for such things as commerce or voting with your feet. Throughout history when freedom was mentioned so was the right to travel. The right to travel was speci ed in article 42 in the Magna Carta (1215), “In future it shall be lawful for any man to leave and return to our kingdom unharmed and without fear, by land or water, preserving his allegiance to us, except in time of War, for some short period, for the common bene t of the realm.” The right to travel was also speci ed in our Articles of Confederation in Article 4, ” …provided that such restrictions shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any State, to any other State, of which the owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any State, on the property of the united States, or either of them…” .
Our Constitution does not specify the right to travel in Word; it is believed that the right was thought of so fundamental during the drafting that it was not needed to be explicitly enumerated. Even though it is not speci cally stated, Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1, The Privileges and Immunities Clause, covers this right, it states “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.” The right to travel is also stated in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) in Article 13, “(l) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence Within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” In the United States Supreme Court case of Paul v. Virginia (1869), the Court de ned freedom of movement as the “right of free ingress into other States, and egress from them.” Also, Supreme Court case Saenz v. Roe (1999) specified the right to enter one state and leave another was protected by the Privileges and Immunities Clause.
The intent of this legislation is to rein in the overreaching security checks of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). It is the enhanced pat-downs of the TSA that violate the Fourth Amendment.
Throughout our country, many people have expressed grievances over enhanced pat-downs, the intrusiveness of these searches and the embarrassment it causes. Many Congressman and Senators have talked about the problems of the TSA and tried to make corrections to it, but to no prevail. I do believe it is not only the state’s right, but its duty to correct these wrongful actions. I believe this legislation is a good step in the right direction of protecting the rights of Maine citizens to be protected from unwanted, unconstitutional, and embarrassing searches.
I would also question the effectiveness of these searches. These enhanced searches Were in place in 2009 when the “Underwear Bomber” made it through. I personally choose to opt out of the full-body scanner, resulting in an enhanced, full body pat-down. Even though I am given this intrusive enhanced pat-down, I’ve never been sent through a metal detector. With this action, I question how effective it could be.
In my personal experience, flying back into the country, there is very lax security in other nations. If We are seeking to protect against danger of airplanes being hijacked and own into buildings, one would think this would be a problem. It makes me questions the overall effectiveness of security. Therefore, it seems to me that the TSA is more about controlling the behavior of domestic people than the overall security of flights.
Similar legislation has been submitted in at least 9 other states, passing the Texas House in 2011 and the New Hampshire House in 2012.
Thank you for your consideration.