U.S. Federal appeals court rejects challenge to TSA body scans

July 18, 2011 at 8:07 am | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces, Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Jurist

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Friday unanimously rejected [opinion, PDF] a constitutional challenge to the full-body scans conducted at airports by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) [official website]. The appeals court held that the use of full body scanners [TSA backgrounder], also known as Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT), does not violate the Fourth Amendment [text] protection against unreasonable searches, nor does it violate any federal statutes. However, the court said that the TSA violated procedural requirements by failing to give notice to the public as well as provide an opportunity to file comments with the agency pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) [materials]. Though the petitioners, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) [official website], were disappointed [WSJ report] that the court dismissed the constitutional challenge, President of EPIC Marc Rotenberg applauded the ruling [press release]:

We are pleased with the court’s decision. The TSA is now subject to the same rules as other government agencies that help ensure transparency and accountability. Many Americans object to the airport body scanner program. Now they will have an opportunity to express their views to the TSA and the agency must take their views into account as a matter of law.The court ultimately remanded the case to the agency for further proceedings to “cure the defect.”  [more]

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