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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Friday, July 22, 2005


4th Amendment

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

While I do not believe, as some do, that this amendment means we have a right to 'privacy', I think we should be assured that the government is not going to just march up and demand that they search me. What brings this to mind? NYC:

NEW YORK -- Alarmed by a new round of mass transit attacks in London, police in New York began random searches of bags and packages brought into the city's vast subway system.
This is a bit of a gray area (to this non-legal-expert guy) because it's not as if the police are randomly searching people walking down the street (for now, anyway). Rather, they are searching people who wish to use the subway system. The question I have is whether or not even these searches are constitutional.

If I want to ride in someone's personally-owned car, they can demand that I submit to a fully body cavity search first. I, of course, have the right to decline the use of their car, and everyone can go their separate ways. However, does the government have the right to deny my access to a public asset if I refuse to consent to a search?

My inclination is that they should not have that power. Now I'm sure someone will bring up the regulations regarding airline security, and so I'll tell you right up front that I don't necessarily think that Constitution grants the government the power to deny me access to an airplane if I refuse to be searched (although a privately-owned airline company has every right to demand that I submit to a search if I want to use their services).

So, does anyone out there have a well-founded Constitutional argument in support of the government searching me before I use a publicly available and funded asset like a subway?

I suppose it doesn't matter since, as a society, we have already decided that we are more than happy to trade our freedoms for the illusion of security.


I must say, I like these T-shirts.


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