Supreme Court rejects appeal on airport scanners

WASHINGTON Mon Oct 1, 2012 4:18pm EDT

A man receives instructions on going through a full body scanner at a Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint in the Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey July 28, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A man receives instructions on going through a full body scanner at a Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint in the Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey July 28, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider a Michigan blogger's challenge of the use of full-body scanners and thorough pat-downs at airport checkpoints.

Without comment, the court declined to take up Jonathan Corbett's complaint that the Transportation Security Administration's use of the screening techniques violated passengers' protection against illegal searches under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The TSA, in October 2010, directed the use of the scanners, sometimes known as advanced imaging technology, which some critics fear could emit too much radiation.

In addition, the TSA authorized enhanced pat-downs, which could include the touching of genitals, buttocks and breasts, for passengers unwilling to go through the scanners. Passengers who rejected both procedures would not be allowed to fly.

Corbett, who maintains the "TSA Out of Our Pants!" blog, complained that the TSA lacked unilateral authority to adopt the procedures.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta had rejected Corbett's case, saying a lower court correctly concluded that it did not have jurisdiction to review a TSA order.

On his blog, Corbett wrote that he plans to continue pursuing his case, using procedures allowed by the 11th Circuit. "The good news is that the fight is not over," he wrote.

The case is Corbett v. U.S., U.S. Supreme Court, No. 11-1413.

(Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, M.D. Golan and Jackie Frank)

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Comments (28)
texan5555 wrote:
Isn’t it great that we have to be prepared to routinely submit to an invasive search that the police supposedly cannot do without probable cause just to get on the airplane. These searches under other circumstances would be considered sexual assault as they are groping you usually against your will or taking nude pictures of you.

Oct 01, 2012 10:31am EDT  --  Report as abuse
z0rr0 wrote:
The Court refuses to consider whether screening 1 billion US citizens per year is an infringement on our liberties (yes, that is about the number of annual passengers).

I presume that sets the stage for all types of Government monitoring, of every American, from the time they are born, until they die. And all that information will only be used for lawful purposes, by law abiding officials.

Tell me another one. Sad day for the Constitution.

Oct 01, 2012 11:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
majkmushrm wrote:
And our descent into fascism continues.

Oct 01, 2012 11:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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