FEDERAL LAWSUIT AGAINST AIRPORT
This website seeks to unite passengers to end airport searches, based on the 4th and 5th Amendments.
Currently, passengers are being denied their 4th
Amendment rights, on the basis that they voluntarily “waive” this protection
when they choose to board airplanes--
which the government claims is not a right,
since the planes are privately owned. This was decided in
A person has the choice, as a matter of constitutional law, to submit to a search of her person and carry-on baggage, as a condition to boarding an airplane, or to leave. The passenger’s choice can be seen as either a decision to give up the right to leave or a decision to submit to the search. Either way, the choice is seen as a “consent,” granting the government a license to do what it would otherwise be barred from doing by the Fourth Amendment. This consent must be voluntary.
However this consent cannot be voluntary for airline-passengers, since it is coerced by the simple fact that ground-transportation is much slower than air-travel, and so this amounts to a constructive violation of the 5th Amendment via interfering with the person’s freedom of movement. As such, air-travel is not a “choice,” so much as a necessity in modern life when traveling any considerable distance.
Likewise, consent cannot be alleged to be "voluntary" on the grounds that it is made via private contract with the airline; for all commercial airlines and airports impose these conditions on passengers, under TSA regulations. And therefore the contractual requirement that the passenger consent to a search as an a priori condition of boarding the airline’s plane, creates a “contract of adhesion“ (i.e. one in which the party had no opportunity to negotiate the terms of the contract). For indeed this search-requirement is a) non-negotiated, as well as b) unconscionable in terms of superior bargaining-power of the airline, while air-travel is also c) a relative necessity in modern life and business, while finally d) the consumer has no alternative via other airlines, if all airlines impose this rule. Rather, such terms are defined as “boilerplate language,” and cannot be enforced against a consumer. Rather, such “contracts of adhesion” are considered unenforceable under modern contract-law. Therefore, airlines and the federal government cannot circumvent 4th Amendment protections on this basis.
Since people are thus being illegally coerced into such “consent” through a) infringement of 5th Amendment right to liberty and b) contracts of adhesion by the airlines, then the court must therefore extend full 4th Amendment protection to commercial airline-passengers, and thus treat airports like any other public place in respecting a citizen’s reasonable expectations of privacy.
By raising these arguments in a federal suit, we will thereby end the streak of airline-passengers being treated as second-class citizens on the grounds of “implied consent” various searches.
This is a valid argument, since it firmly addresses both the 4th and 5th Amendment rights, against unreasonable searches and the right to travel without restrictions. Currently, the federal government is forcing people to choose between these rights, by giving up one or the other-- which is a constructive breach of the Constitution; and therefore we have valid grounds for a federal suit against it.
The federal legislature clearly is out of control on this issue; and therefore an appeal to the federal court, is the logical recourse toward abolishing these atrocities of a federal legislature run amuck.
The goal of this site, is to raise enough money to file this suit. The goal and amount pledges will be listed regularly as they are determined.
E-MAIL me your pledges and questions at SarahWitch@comcast.net.
NOTE TO ATTORNEYS: We are currently selecting legal representatives in this case, and will consider all offers.
One last reminder: Here's a final look at what the TSA considers "not being harassed."