On the one hand, the possible invalidation of the Affordable Care Act by the Supreme Court may leave pat-down searches by the Transportation Safety Administration as the sole source of affordable screening available to millions of Americans. On the other hand, it is kind of rude for the TSA to freedom-fondle senior citizens and not even followup with a phone call.
To solve the latter dilemma, Senator Rand Paul, himself a victim of government reach-arounds, has introduced a measure to apply a few of the protections from the original Bill of Rights to the passenger screening process…
Paul's proposed bill of rights legislation would give the TSA one year to implement a speedier screening process for pre-cleared frequent fliers at airports with more than 250,000 annual flights, permit travelers who fail to pass imaging or metal detector screening to go through the screening again rather than be subjected to an automatic pat-down, and eliminate pat-downs for travelers age 12 and younger and 75 and older unless the screener has a "high degree of suspicion" that the passenger is carrying a prohibited item.
All this sounds good, but it fails to take into account the needs of our most vulnerable minority: the celebrity-American. I believe Paul's counterparts in the House made themselves very clear on this point…
The US House of Representatives has a very important announcement, they would like the TSA to stop patting down Beyonce when she passes through airport security.
Rep. Mike Rogers, head of the House Homeland Security Transportation Subcommittee recently told the agency that Beyonce is "not going to blow a plane up."
I like Paul's broader proposal better. First, the exposure of important people to the TSA screening process, whether they're famous entertainers or U.S. Senators, is what generates support for greater privacy protections in the first place. If only the "suspicious" were targeted, Congress would never care. See, for example, "stop, frisk."
Second, failure to include Beyonce-Americans in the potential screening process is going to totally undermine the TSA agent recruiting process.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: House of Representatives, Rand Paul, Senate, Transportation, TSA