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Supreme Court Won't Hear Body-Scanner Appeal

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the scan-me dept.

Privacy 170

stevegee58 writes "After a long string of legal setbacks, the case brought by Jonathan Corbett challenging TSA's use of full body scanners and enhanced pat-downs has come to an end. Today the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, so current TSA practices will stand. The TSA started allowing the use of the advanced imaging technology in October 2010."

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well, (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515141)

god damn it!

Re:well, (5, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 years ago | (#41515183)

I hate to say it but I kind of figured that nothing would come of it. It seems the same thing always happens.

step one - enact something that pisses off damn near everyone

Tell the angry mob that you will look into it and something will be done

quietly drop it when the mass forgets about it because OHHHH SHINEY!

Re:well, (3, Informative)

pdabbadabba (720526) | about 2 years ago | (#41515461)

From what I've read, there's really nothing to see here. The original suit was dismissed because it was filed in the wrong court. It was filed in FL district court when the law requires that it be brought before the DC Circuit or the circuit in which he resides (he resides in Michigan). But instead of just bringing his suit in the correct court, he has simply appealed the dismissal all the way up to the supreme court. Of course SCOTUS didn't take it; the lower courts were obviously correct.

Re:well, (5, Informative)

tsaoutofourpants (2615595) | about 2 years ago | (#41515905)

Hello, filer of the lawsuit here. There's perhaps a little bit more to read than what you've read... the first page of my SCOTUS petition or 11th Circuit appellate brief would have cleared things up. :) The brief summary is that my lawsuit was filed in District Court quite intentionally: District Court is the only federal court that has a trial by jury, as well as discovery and witnesses as-of-right. After filing, the TSA invoked a law that was not designed to send challenges to agency "orders" to the US Court of Appeals. The idea behind the law is that some administrative agencies have proceedings with administrative law judges that legitimately should be challenged in the appeals courts. For example, if you try to bring a knife on a plane, the TSA has administrative law judges to assess a civil penalty against you, and you can appeal that decision to the appeals court. However, the TSA has now successfully argued that ANYTHING THEY WRITE DOWN CONSTITUTES AN "ORDER" THAT CANNOT BE THE SUBJECT OF A JURY TRIAL. Think about that for a second: the gatekeepers of our constitutional rights are supposed to be *the people*. Instead, it is now a group of men that are appointed by the President, who happens to be the guy who appoints the head of the TSA who started this mess. My fight against the TSA will continue on in the appeals court, which is the only good news here. You may read more at: http://tsaoutofourpants.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/supreme-court-declines-to-consider-whether-nude-body-scanners-deserve-a-trial/ [wordpress.com]

Re:well, (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41516095)

sir, first of all, thanks for your tireless work on this.
secondly, best nickname ever!
thirdly, where can I contribute to your work, please do a kickstarter/indygogo on this.

Re:well, (5, Informative)

tsaoutofourpants (2615595) | about 2 years ago | (#41516225)

Thank you, and you're quite welcome! There's a donate button on my blog: http://tsaoutofourpants.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com] I'm considering trying Kickstarter/Indygogo, but for now, just PayPal. :) --Jon

Re:well, (2)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 2 years ago | (#41517243)

Why is the TSA not performing an illegal act when they examine the junk of a minor? Or photograph a naked child? Is this for the children?

Re:well, (5, Insightful)

tsaoutofourpants (2615595) | about 2 years ago | (#41517577)

"Examining the junk" of an adult, or photographing the same naked, isn't traditionally a lawful governmental objective either. But it becomes more obvious how wrong it is when you think of the children, elderly, handicapped, breast cancer survivors, rape survivors, etc., that have to deal with this nonsense.

Re:well, (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | about 2 years ago | (#41518567)

So is this the be-all, end-all of the issue? Is there no way to get the practice stopped via the courts? Seeing as TSA has lied to Congress (and ignored court orders before) it sounds like there's no other option. Please tell me I'm missing some possibility.

Re:well, (5, Informative)

pdabbadabba (720526) | about 2 years ago | (#41516117)

Hi there, thanks for replying. I am a lawyer, so I should probably refrain from commenting on the merits of your case too specifically for fear of accidentally giving "legal advice."

I'll just say/ask these few things:

1) It remains the case that the matter on appeal to the Supreme Court was the jurisdictional question, not the merits of your complaint (and the complaints of many others) against the TSA.

2) Regardless of what court you brought suit in, it was always going to be a judge who resolved legal questions like, say, whether TSA's procedures were unconstitutional. A jury would only be tasked with factual questions like figuring out, if it were disputed, what TSA's procedures actually were.

3) Do you have plans to refile in the 6th or DC Circuit?

4) Good luck on your lawsuit.

(It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: I am a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. I know not nearly enough about you or your case to provide you advice that you could rely on. I am also not admitted to the bar in your jurisdiction so I couldn't be your lawyer even if I wanted to.)

Re:well, (5, Informative)

tsaoutofourpants (2615595) | about 2 years ago | (#41516263)

0) It's ok... I don't accept legal advice from strangers anyway. ;) 1) Yes. 2) Yes, but there are many questions of fact. For example, are the scanners effective (since effectiveness is a part of the balancing test in deciding if a search is reasonable)? See my video on that: http://tsaoutofourpants.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/1b-of-nude-body-scanners-made-worthless-by-blog-how-anyone-can-get-anything-past-the-tsas-nude-body-scanners/ [wordpress.com] 3) 11th Circuit. The wires have mistakenly reported me as a Michigan resident since I used a Michigan mailing address on court documents. I live in Miami Beach, FL. 4) Thank you. :)

Re:well, (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | about 2 years ago | (#41516357)

0) It's ok... I don't accept legal advice from strangers anyway. ;)

That is an excellent policy. Have you done any research about the procedures a Circuit Court will/would use in answering a factual question like the one you point out?

Re:well, (4, Informative)

pdabbadabba (720526) | about 2 years ago | (#41516413)

Ah. I just answered my own question (or, rather, the 11th circuit did):

Finally, under 28 U.S.C. 2347, we may: (1) remand a proceeding to an agency to hold a hearing where one is required by law, (2) transfer certain cases to a district court, or (3) order an agency to take additional evidence and counterevidence. Id. 2347(b)(1), (3), (c).

Re:well, (5, Informative)

tsaoutofourpants (2615595) | about 2 years ago | (#41517065)

Indeed, although the TSA will argue that that particular law doesn't apply to orders under s. 46110. Stay tuned for that fight.

Re:well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41517813)

Thank you for at least trying to do something.

One thing is missing: (2)

Elbart (1233584) | about 2 years ago | (#41515157)

Why?

Re:One thing is missing: (5, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#41515227)

Via drudge: [drudgereport.com]
http://www.contracostatimes.com/politics-government/ci_21672132/supreme-court-wont-hear-cases-body-scanners-gay?source=rss [contracostatimes.com]
  The Supreme Court won't hear a Michigan man's attempt to challenge the use of full body scanners at airports.

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal by Jonathan Corbett, who wanted to challenge the Transportation Security Administration's use of full body scanners and/or enhanced pat downs at airport security lines. Federal courts in Florida refused to hear his lawsuit, saying it could only be filed with the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal, and the Supreme Court refused to reopen the case.

The TSA started allowing the use of the advanced imaging technology in October 2010.

Re:One thing is missing: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515301)

I still have the same question as Elbart. There isn't anything that says why they declined to hear the case?

No evidence of suffering? His case was based on hearsay? What? There has to be some reason the Supreme court felt the case wasn't worth a hearing.

Re:One thing is missing: (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#41515361)

I've looked beyond that but that's the most the wire services have out at the moment, since it was listed as "breaking" so yeah, good on them I guess, there will probably be more out in an hour or two. I'd like to know myself, if I find it I'll post it, unless someone beats me to it.

Re:One thing is missing: (4, Insightful)

ichimunki (194887) | about 2 years ago | (#41515409)

They declined because he filed in Florida, not DC. That's pretty simple. So the next step is to file in what is apparently the proper venue. This isn't like they're upholding the law or judging the case on merits... although I'd bet if they wanted to hear the case, they would figure out some loophole to get past the bureaucratic BS, rather than forcing the process back to nearly square one.

Re:One thing is missing: (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#41516331)

"They declined because he filed in Florida, not DC."

Is he trying the case pro se? Because, I can't imagine a member of the Bar making such a basic fuckup.

Re:One thing is missing: (4, Informative)

tsaoutofourpants (2615595) | about 2 years ago | (#41516605)

Please read http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3156341&cid=41515905 [slashdot.org] -- not a fuckup, but an intentional decision. I am pro se, although about a dozen members of state bars, including Jesse Ventura's awesome legal team, made the same decision in their similar suits.

Simple (3, Funny)

Safety Cap (253500) | about 2 years ago | (#41516611)

I'd bet if they wanted to hear the case, they would figure out some loophole to get past the bureaucratic BS,

Just tell Thomas, Scalia and Alito that they can't get their daily "newsletter of best-of images" culled from the scanners until they hear the case.

That sucker'll be fast-tracked so fast someone's robe will burst into flames.

Re:One thing is missing: (4, Informative)

Yakasha (42321) | about 2 years ago | (#41515589)

I still have the same question as Elbart. There isn't anything that says why they declined to hear the case?

SCOTUS gets 1000s of cases every year. They can't review them all. So, they defer to the lower courts unless the lower courts can't figure it out for themselves (i.e., different circuits give conflicting rulings).

For SCOTUS to take this, most likely multiple suits need to be filed in different districts and at least 2 of them need to hear the case and rule differently.

The issue is effectively DOA in the courts. But lucky for us, November 6th is approaching fairly rapidly. Fix it there.

Since Obama clearly supports the Fed's illegal activities, and Romney no doubt does too, you're left with 1 option: vote 3rd party.

3rd party is not a wasted vote. Federal election laws revolve around a party gaining 5% of the popular vote in the previous election. We only recognize two parties because only those two parties have ever had 5% of the votes!

If you're curious, Ross Perot picked up 18% in 1992, but officially ran as an Independent, preventing his Reform party from benefiting in 1996.

Re:One thing is missing: (3)

EuclideanSilence (1968630) | about 2 years ago | (#41516373)

Voting 3rd party also greatly influences the positions of the 2 main parties who don't want to lose to each other. If you lose an election by 5%, but a 3rd party got 5% of the vote, it's very likely that taking up the 3rd party position will help the next time around.

Re:One thing is missing: (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#41517393)

Well, it is debatable if the vote is 'wasted' or not since the concept is pretty subjective. As another poster pointed out, significant turnout for a 3rd party can often cause one of the two parties to integrate those issues into its platform, but that really the main 'value' of such votes. Mathematically, our system will pretty much always stabilize on two parties, just like other countries that have similar voting laws. There will never be a 3rd party that is anything other then a sounding board for new planks. There will never be a critical mass that propels us into a 3 party system with a third of the nation (apx) voting for each one because our system just can not stabilize around that configuration.

Re:One thing is missing: (0)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#41515617)

The Supremes are saying there are rules to the game and he wasn't playing by the rules. How convenient. Of course, if it was the government filing this case, they most likely would have heard it.

Re:One thing is missing: (2)

almitydave (2452422) | about 2 years ago | (#41515343)

I read this blurb as well, and it sounds like the issue under appeal was the Florida federal court's dismissal based purely on jurisdiction. Ok, refile in D.C. I don't understand if there's more to it than that - anyone know more? There's no mention of case # or anything in this blurb.

Re:One thing is missing: (4, Informative)

pdabbadabba (720526) | about 2 years ago | (#41515551)

You are correct. There is nothing more to it than that. The case number (on appeal to the 11th Circuit, at least) appears to be 11-cv-12426. Here is the 11th Circuit's opinion itself which makes things pretty clear: http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca11/11-12426/11-12426-2012-02-27.html [justia.com]

Re:One thing is missing: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515835)

What's more, this is a common dismissal in self-directed cases. Thanks NOLO :)

Re:One thing is missing: (5, Informative)

OverTheGeicoE (1743174) | about 2 years ago | (#41515789)

The plaintiff was hoping to get a jury trial in the district court [wordpress.com] . All suits regarding TSA in the DC circuit court go straight to appeals, meaning no jury trial is possible there. This is the same court that has been so deferential to DHS in the EPIC suit on the same topic. The plaintiff seemed to think a jury would be more receptive to his arguments.

Is another suit in the DC court worth the trouble? If not, then Mr. Corbett has been about as effective as Jesse Ventura was in his suit [huffingtonpost.com] .

Re:One thing is missing: (5, Informative)

tsaoutofourpants (2615595) | about 2 years ago | (#41515967)

> Is another suit in the DC court worth the trouble? I give that an emphatic, "hell yes." --Mr. Corbett :)

Re:One thing is missing: (2)

PortHaven (242123) | about 2 years ago | (#41516529)

How come jurisdiction seems to play here, but it always seems like patent suits are filed in that Texas jurisdiction that keeps patent trolls well fed?

Re:One thing is missing: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515261)

The most generous interpertation I can think of is, they don't want to stick their collective dick into this meat grinder.

Which is still bullshit, because the whole point of lifetime tenure is so they can without fear of retaliation. See, Roberts upholding the ACA, knowing full well the GOP will lose its shit.

Re:One thing is missing: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41516493)

Lifetime tenure doesn't mean you can't be blackmailed or put under duress. Ever notice the SCROTUS suddenly decided New Deal era legislation was ok, but only after FDR started talking about expanding the SCROTUS to 13? Or how John Roberts changed his mind after Barry Obama's goons mentioned a video tape involving a gay prostitute?

Re:One thing is missing: (1)

rullywowr (1831632) | about 2 years ago | (#41517625)

By "collective dick" are you referring to Sotomayor's as well?

Re:One thing is missing: (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 2 years ago | (#41515263)

Because, citizen. Stop resisting!

Re:One thing is missing: (4, Funny)

ichthus (72442) | about 2 years ago | (#41515321)

...and, pick up that can!

Hey now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515159)

The process is no different than bringing immigrants through Ellis Island.

Same thing. Trust us.

Re:Hey now. (0)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41515305)

You need to get your ass to mars.

America ... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515161)

Welcome to America, land of the sheep.

Let's face it, the terrorists have won, and the government is taking advantage of this to take control over more and more of your lives.

I'm betting US tourism is down massively.

Re:America ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515793)

Dude. The government are the terrorists. It's double-plus good!

Now, give us your citizen ID so we can file these nekked pics of you for reference, you know, so we can recognize you on the street when we do nekkid scans from our government pedo-vans.

[also btw... hey, fred... add this guy to the no-fly list]

One thing the left and right can agree on (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515169)

You, the people, are fucked.

Re:One thing the left and right can agree on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41516227)

You, the people, are fucked.

Oh, I think we already knew that!

On that particular case, we knew that when the court ruled that TSA must open public comment period and TSA summarily ignored them. For a year. And then it came back to court and TSA said -- ok, we might get around to that in a few months, leave us alone. And the court said "yes, sir!"

There is probably a "state secret" request somewhere in there they could invoke if all else failed. After all, if the terrorists knew how much radiation we are all getting before each flight, the terrorists might learn that they already won a long time ago.

Re:One thing the left and right can agree on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41517771)

They, the people, don't care.

This fight is a lost cause because too few people are pissed off about it. A handful of people protesting the injustice will have no effect, no matter how right they are. If the majority is willing to accept this, then the government will continue with it, justice be damned.

Checks and Balances (5, Funny)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 2 years ago | (#41515179)

About as useful as the Constitution for determining what is allowed by the government...

Re:Checks and Balances (1)

Tasha26 (1613349) | about 2 years ago | (#41515507)

R.I.P due process!

Re:Checks and Balances (0)

Whatanut (203397) | about 2 years ago | (#41515743)

How is this a violation of due process. As has been said by several others, the guy filed in the wrong court, got his lawsuit rejected and wanted SCOTUS to over turn that decision. This guy is the one not following process.

Re:Checks and Balances (4, Insightful)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | about 2 years ago | (#41516119)

Actually the "process" is the primary method by which powerful tyrants deny justice to meaningless peasants.

He was supposed to file in DC wasn't he? Why exactly? Does the court in Florida belong to a different nation? The moon was in an incorrect astral sign? Wind was coming from the wrong compass point?

When he files in DC (at his own expense of course and on his own time - but I am sure everyone gets many days free time fully paid from his/her job to proudly challenge an entire multi-trillion dollar agency in any state of the agency's choosing) he will promptly find out that while DC was the correct court, the "process" requires him to wait 2 years for a decision, which will be that he "does not have standing" (being a mere peasant) or that he is "not a party" (not being a member of the government) etc and so on.

Due process my ass.

The whole point of this exercise is the pretense that average citizens have any say whatsoever in what the government or other wealthy powers do to them. The US courts have been rubber-stamping the aristocracy's decisions for a long time now, all the while creating ever more byzantine "process" in order to insure that the lower classes have to jump through so many hoops as to make participation of anyone without 40 lawyers and 100 paralegals pointless.

The beauty of this system is that technically everyone can participate but in practice only the very wealthy can do so effectively. And bonus: more byzantine the rules, higher paid and numerous becomes the priesthood that attends to them: the lawyers.

Everyone wins, well except the average peon who gets to pay for this fun in more ways than one.

Re:Checks and Balances (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41517307)

As long as the checks clear and the balances don't go negative, they work fine.

Bribery FTL.

A Proud Day For America (1)

crmanriq (63162) | about 2 years ago | (#41515181)

Just stand over there citizen. We'll get to you shortly.

we reject your facts ...... (1)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 2 years ago | (#41515241)

and choose to ignore them. Along with the rest of the majority of Americans.

This is a Sign... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515429)

That extensive exercising of the 2nd Amendment will be required to turn back the encroachment upon our liberties.

Slightly off topic..but.. (4, Interesting)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | about 2 years ago | (#41515465)

Seems like laws and bills and crap should logically go through the Supreme Court *before* being enacted.. This passing laws which are unconstitutional and then having them in effect for years and years until they finally make it to be judged *while they are still enforcing them* seems pretty stupid from the whipped persons point of view. Yea yea yea.. it would take years to pass crap and the backlog would be crippling.. and you say that like its a bad thing...

Actually it's the opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515603)

In theory the SCOTUS is not supposed to judge laws that are not yet enacted.

I remember hearing that at the time of the Obamacare ruling, where people argued that even though the law had been passed by the Senate, SCOTUS was in theory not allowed to uphold it or strike it down on the ground that it had yet to be enacted. Not sure why Obamacare was an exception, but the point is SCOTUS can't give a ruling on a law that is not yet passed by Congress.

Re:Actually it's the opposite (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515785)

The thing about "Obamacare" is that it had gone through the whole process (pre-court challenge) and thus was able to be challenged in court when it finally was. SCOTUS couldn't really do anything about it when Obama hadn't signed it yet (requiring it to pass through the house and the senate first), but as soon as Obama signed it into the law books, SCOTUS could hear on it and uphold it. Which is what happened. At that point, it was enacted, whether it was officially being acted upon yet or not (in the case of much of "Obamacare", though the bill was enacted, its effects simply were not to go into effect until some time later). Not an exception at all (and I'm not sure why you roughly explained that first and then called it an exception?).

Re:Actually it's the opposite (2)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 2 years ago | (#41515973)

That discussion was actually about weather a tax can be appealed through before it takes effect. The way things currently are is no a tax can not be appealed until it has taken effect. The question around the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) was is the penalty for the individual mandate a tax or not. If it is a tax then it can't be litigated until it takes effect, if it is not a tax then it can be litigated before it goes into effect. The oddity that popped out of the ruling is that Obamacare is both a tax and not a tax. It was not considered a tax as per the first part of the ruling which allowed the 3rd part of the ruling, but for the 3rd part of the ruling it was ruled a tax thus being something congress could enact. There was a second part that dealt with removing funds for states that was overturned but that was a separate issue. Technically speaking the SCOTUS was never granted the constitutionality authority to determine if a law was constitutional [wikipedia.org] but granted them selves that right in the marbury v madison [wikipedia.org] case.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (1)

Brewmeister_Z (1246424) | about 2 years ago | (#41515727)

How about federal laws must have at least a 90 day "cool down" period in which the public is able to review the law as passed and a process of immediate appeals can be initiated by the states to force the Supreme Court to review it before any of it can be enforced or enacted. For issues requiring time-sensitive action, involving agencies/departments that handle such things (FEMA, DOD, EPA, etc.), those can have another process to act quickly but then oversee and audit strongly to minimize waste of taxpayer money.

Sorry, that might be too sane and reasonable. Just let the greedy and power-hungry sociopaths continue unchecked...

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (2)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | about 2 years ago | (#41516161)

I'd settle for five days of public comment before signing [politifact.com] bills. This was a simple proposal that costs almost nothing to implement and would give some value, if only in name, to public comment.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (1)

gorzek (647352) | about 2 years ago | (#41516695)

That would require a Constitutional amendment, which makes it a political non-starter.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (1)

Brewmeister_Z (1246424) | about 2 years ago | (#41517241)

True, more of thing that happens after heads are rolling and militias take parts of the country type of thing. This kind of thing is like expecting a cancer to cure itself... a miracle to say the least.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41515769)

Seems like laws and bills and crap should logically go through the Supreme Court *before* being enacted.

So you want to give veto power to 5 unelected people who have a lifetime term of office? I understand the instincts, but this seems like a really bad idea.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41516199)

It's 9 people and THEY ALREADY HAVE THAT POWER.

By design, the SCOTUS is no less powerful than any other branch of the government. Complaints about "activist judges" are a Big Lie propaganda ploy intended to neuter an important part of the government meant to balance the rest.

Yes. 9 appointees should have that much power. They were intended to. Probably to balance out the influence of politicians that constantly have to campaign for re-election and finance same.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41516557)

It's 5 people because 5 votes are all that's needed to create a 5-4 decision.

I'm not saying judges shouldn't have power, but the value of having to have somebody bring a case is that it allows them to only focus on those situations where there is a potential problem.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 2 years ago | (#41516765)

5 people makes a majority opinion that decides the law, however. I'm sure that's what the parent poster was getting at.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41516291)

So you want to give veto power to 5 unelected people who have a lifetime term of office? I understand the instincts, but this seems like a really bad idea.

1. They already have that power. Their decisions shape the US to a much greater degree than the president who has actual veto power (health care certainly got decided by supreme court). They do have to wait until someone challenges the law, but how much of a deterrent is that?

2. Our elected president is not using the veto power he has despite promising that he would (e.g., the illegal wiretapping immunity which Obama swore to veto during his campaign). So again, I don't see what we have that much to lose.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (0)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#41515807)

Seems like laws and bills and crap should logically go through the Supreme Court *before* being enacted...

NO. Absolutely not. That would be the exact equivalent of giving the supreme court the power to enact law, which is not its job. Executive branch creates laws, all the judicial branch does is see if its constatutional. That's It.
Any jurisdiction can create a law, its then up to the local courts to make sure those laws are allowable under the local ordances. They get pushed up the chain as they get challeneged. That's the say its supposed to be. If we start circumventing that process you clear the way for a totalitarian beuracracy to start creating laws without any way to challenge them. No, the process is just fine, thank you for your input.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (4, Informative)

Aryden (1872756) | about 2 years ago | (#41516203)

Executive branch creates laws

Civics 101: Legislative branch creates laws. Executive branch enforces laws. Except where executive orders are in play.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41516387)

It is sad how few people understand the basics of their own government.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | about 2 years ago | (#41516683)

Seems like laws and bills and crap should logically go through the Supreme Court *before* being enacted...

NO. Absolutely not. That would be the exact equivalent of giving the supreme court the power to enact law, which is not its job. Executive branch creates laws, all the judicial branch does is see if its constatutional. That's It.

The legislative branch creates bills, votes upon them, and if approved hands them off to the executive branch for signing and enforcement. The executive branch enforces the law, it doesn't really create the law in the sense I think you're implying.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#41517305)

Whatever. Made a mistake in the branches. shoiuldn't (and doesn't) completely invalidate my main point.

Re:Slightly off topic..but.. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#41515907)

You'd give an unelected board of lifelong appointees the power to approve or reject all laws passed by congress? That sounds like a terrible idea. They wouldn't be restricted to dealing with it in a chronological order. They'd be able to fast-track laws they liked and bury laws they didn't.

At the current moment in history, I do think the supreme court justices are generally more worthy than your average congressman. Certainly more informed on what the constitution means. But if you give the position such powers, you raise the stakes, and I'm quite certain you'd see the supreme court being much more of a battleground than it is now. The pretense of striking down laws based not on opinion but on constitutionality would go right out the door.

Imagine if, for example, the tea party got one or two seats on such a supreme court. It would be bad as is, but consolidating even more control with the court both makes it more damaging and more likely.

Bad design (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 2 years ago | (#41516969)

The courts are specifically prohibited from acting unless there is a "case or controversy". Every branch of government needs a check on its power, and that's the check on the judiciary.

time to face facts (4, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 years ago | (#41515561)

and conclude that had the supreme court heard the issue, it would probably have just ruled in favour of the government.
and had it ruled against the government, the TSA and cur->administration() would have ignored it.

The best option at this point is to select "alternative screening" whenever you go through the airport. Refuse the private screening as this only benefits the TSA by allowing it to hide the dissent against this technology. Avoid engaging in smalltalk, even if solicited, during the pat down. I generally stand tall, and fix my vision into the crowd of passengers entering screening.

Re:time to face facts (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41515647)

The best option at this point is to select "alternative screening" whenever you go through the airport. Refuse the private screening as this only benefits the TSA by allowing it to hide the dissent against this technology.

The best option is to not fly, let the airlines know exactly why, and encourage others who dissent against this policy to change their habits as well. If the airlines start losing big money because of the TSA's practices, they'll bribe^H lobby to change it.

Re:time to face facts (1)

Aryden (1872756) | about 2 years ago | (#41516271)

Until there is a viable alternative to flight, this isn't going to work. Also, any viable alternative to flight will then be subjected to this very same sort of security theater. See the TSA trying to implement airport security in train stations and roads.

Re:time to face facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41516359)

Take a look at the airline ridership in the months following 9/11/01. You know, that period of time when the flying public knew that the current security measures were completely ineffective, but before the TSA was put in place. Then look at the statistics after the TSA was in place. Which do you think the airlines prefer?

Remember the holiday (Thanksgiving, I think), when the was a 'movement' to protest the TSA? Oh, the loudmouths were SURE that the public was with them. "People are going to boycott flying, people are going to disrupt the security procedures" the said. That will show them! And, when the day came, the usual lines were there, and except for a very few people (rightly labelled idiots by everyone else), thing proceded normally.

You are certainly free to not fly. But don't kid yourself that there enough others like you to make the slightest bit of difference.

Re:time to face facts (1)

tsaoutofourpants (2615595) | about 2 years ago | (#41518003)

National Opt Out Day "failed" (if by "failed" you mean "didn't slow things to a halt") because the TSA quietly stopped using the scanners on that day, so there was nothing to opt out of. Don't kid yourself that there are enough others like you that will sacrifice liberty for alleged safety.

Op Out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515715)

I agree. I'm old enough to be the grandma of many slashdot readers, but when I fly commercial air, I request "alternate screening" every, single, time. Just say, "I opt out," and hold your arms out proudly!

Re:time to face facts (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 2 years ago | (#41516327)

I generally stand tall, and fix my vision into the crowd of passengers entering screening.

I'm too busy trying to keep an eye on all my unguarded stuff left up for grabs -- I guess that goes for people stuck in the naked booth, too.

Re:time to face facts (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41516353)

The best option at this point is to select "alternative screening" whenever you go through the airport.

That's a clever plan (which I use), but it is only good until "alternative screening" is available. What if they declare that opting for the pat down alternative supports the terrorists?

Avoid engaging in smalltalk, even if solicited, during the pat down.

The workers certainly do not make the policy, so what is the point of ignoring them?

Re:time to face facts (2)

crypticedge (1335931) | about 2 years ago | (#41516575)

The best reaction during the alternative screening is to moan and act like you enjoy it too much. Make it as uncomfortable for them as they've made it for everyone else.

Re:time to face facts (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 2 years ago | (#41518413)

When the SCotUS declines to hear a case, they don't give a reason why. The reasons can range anywhere from "Well duh, obviously the lower court was right" as you claim, to "We really don't know, but would like it and other similar lawsuits to kick around the lower courts some more to build up more opinions before we take a look at it." It's highly unusual for the SCotUS to take up the first case of its type to reach them - that usually only happens when there's a blatant violation of the Constitution in a law. They don't like working in a vacuum, and having multiple lower courts from all over the country weighing in on an issue before they tackle it helps them be sure that the issue has been thoroughly explored before they give their weighty and final say on the matter.

Legal Barriers Aside (4, Interesting)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#41515651)

There may have been a legitimate reason for refusing to hear the case, though with the current makeup of the court there is no reason to suspect their hearing the case would have gone well.

Instead let's take this as an impetus to get serious about tackling the TSA's abusive methods.

PR: Publicly boycott air travel as much as possible. When you do travel, avoid airports with the scanners, and opt for public pat down screenings as much as possible if you must use those airports. Do this to slow down the lines, and to let other passengers see you (and thus dampen their enthusiasm for flying). Take out ads in local papers and targeted ads online attacking the TSA and its methods. Promote and share videos and stories that illustrate these abuses.

Legislation: Call your congress critters and let them know how you feel about the TSA. Work to make the TSA a featured issue in the campaigns you can vote in. Get in touch with the lobbyists who represent businesses dependent on air travel (especially airlines), and get them to fight the TSA for economic reasons.

Good luck!

The dull thud of the rubber stamp (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#41515777)

is once more heard across the land.

AQ has won (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515837)

and our officials are their patsies.

doesn't matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41515845)

The courts are not going to tell the TSA to stop, the only way to stop it is to convince Congress. The Court has already decided that airport security is an administrative search that you agree to when you place your stuff on the belt or step through the portal. Only Congress can reign in the TSA and they wont do it until they perceive their chances of reelection depend on it.

Security at the courts (4, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#41515853)

I think, in the best interest of the safety and security of the Supreme Court judges, its probably best they require everyone -- including the judges -- to use the full body scanners to enter the Supreme Court building.

As a pinnacle of our republic, not taking its security seriously is an insult to the institution of the Supreme Court and the United States of America.

Re:Security at the courts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41516587)

The constitution protects people from being scanned for weapons!

Re:Security at the courts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41518347)

... its probably best they require everyone -- including the judges ...

Firstly, judges are isolated from the unwashed masses already so they won't be included. Secondly, such buildings have an employee entrance which would have to be shut-down for your rule to work. Thirdly, such a shut-down would require police and other employees exposed to the public entrance and its scanner.

When the TSA originally contracted for new-fangled scanners, the concept of protecting government buildings arose. It was simply seen as cost-ineffective. Whether that was because of the lower volume of traffic, or because terrorists wouldn't use government services is unclear.

Breaking: Government run courts side with govt (1)

hsmith (818216) | about 2 years ago | (#41515879)

More at 11.

It still surprises people that the federal government grants itself more power, year after year, and only affirms that power, year after year?

SCOTUS is part of the Federal Govt, of course it will protect the federal govt.

I like they're tone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41516011)

Just like my hero patrick bateman. "JUST SAY NO!"

Time for the last box: The ammo box. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41516135)

All else failed and are under control of industrial feudalists.

If we could do it here, where you can actually be shot on the street for it, you can do it in the US too.

Fuck Them All (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41516343)

Fuck the TSA, the Dept of Homeland Security, and fuck the airline industry. I haven't flown since the requirement to take off shoes began, I'm not going to fly until I don't have to, and anyone else who does hates freedom.

Funny thing (2)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 2 years ago | (#41516411)

The funny thing about the TSA is that the rules sound like they were written by grade 1 students. They are comically horrible, I mean in some cases they even cause harm or damage and in others they just cause inconvenience. Shouldn't a system designed to protect / improve security also improve quality of life and travel? I was denied taking medication with me after being searched, I guess I could of somehow smuggled a chemical lab onto the plane and turned the pills into a powerful explosive ......... The TSA should write a book, "How not to implement security".

Re:Funny thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41517183)

As I've often said, most terrorists are from the middle east. Now, the middle east is a hot, dry place. It's bad for the skin, and it's especially bad for hair.

The reason shampoo and conditioner is confiscated is because Al Qaeda hates us for our soft, manageable hair.

Another way to fight this stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41516629)

Do not fly commercially unless your employer requires it. Take your vacations only at places you can reach by auto, bus or train. Be sure to write the venue that you might have chosen for that holiday to let them know of the business they lost and why. Send a copy to your preferred airline too. Once The Mouse and his many confederates get enough of these messages something will change (although not necessarily in the way you might have expected).

Remember, it is largely about money and influence. Individually, most of us are without much of either.

Once again the Supreme Court fails to act (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41516883)

This court comes as close to traitorous as any court in the history of the nation. I'm not surprised the people's faith in the Supreme Court has diminished dramatically. It appears this court and the Chief Justice have no interested in limiting government power at all.

Essentially what the court is saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41517013)

... if you don't like you and your family being photographed in the nude by the government, you're a terrorist. So feel free to GTFO, but expect the gov't to keep a few photos as a souvenir regardless.

Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41517345)

There is money involved on a large scale, and the Supreme Court are now part of the New World Order. They proved that with the Obamacare rulling.

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