No Golden Rule for the TSA

There is a lot of entertainment recently with the controversy over the Longmont, Colorado woman who allegedly groped a TSA screener. While this is a turnabout from what usually occurs, it’s not likely to change TSA’s procedures.

Currently, under the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the TSA employee is conducting a lawful search, and  despite the fact that some feel it’s the equivalent of a visitor search before you enter a prison, the passenger is not authorized to conduct a search. Therefore, this could be sexual assault as defined by the courts.

With the media scrutiny that has brought this to the forefront of our national conversation, there are plenty of people who feel that this is just an eye-for-an-eye, or a “how do you like that when someone does that to you,” sort of incident.

Sadly, it is not. It’s a criminal case to be determined by the courts, if charges are filed. Just because you see an off-duty police officer speeding, or running a stop light, doesn’t give you the same right to issue them a traffic citation. You can call internal affairs, or the media, but you don’t have the legal authority to exercise an enforcement action. Along with Texas and other States that have floated the idea of criminalizing the TSA pat-down search, what this incident is doing however, is highlighting an already controversial search procedure.

Just like I tell my kids when one of them hits or takes a toy from the other – would you appreciate that if someone did that too you? Maybe the Golden Rule should apply to airport screening?


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