TSA Nude Body Scanners & Groping to U.S. Supreme Court
May 23, 2012 25 Comments
What a busy week and it’s only Tuesday! On Monday, I attended the TSA’s Aviation Security Advisory Committee’s public meeting at TSA headquarters in Arlington, VA (TSA Administrator John Pistole in attendance, surely loving my attendance), and this morning I presented my assessment of several security flaws (including the one in my March video, How to Get ANYTHING Through TSA Nude Body Scanners) to several members of Congress. More on these in a later post.
After my presentation, I headed to the U.S. Supreme Court and filed my petition for certiorari, asking the highest court in the land to take my case and, eventually, rule that I have the right to a full trial to review my claims of unconstitutional searches by the TSA — a trial which so far has been denied to me and everyone else who has asked. It is troubling that I have to go to the highest court in the land in order to get something that so obviously is guaranteed to us by our Constitution, but I look forward to getting due process back on track.
The filing requirements of the Supreme Court are actually a bit absurd. First, all documents (relevant to my petition, anyway) had to be specially printed on 6.125″ x 9.25″ paper, bound in a booklet. The court specifies the exact font and size to be used, the margins, the exact line spacing, and even the thickness of the paper it must be printed on (and supposedly, they indeed measure!). Any documents attached (such as lower court decisions) must be re-typed by the filer, since every other court prints on 8.5″ x 11″ paper (and “shrinking” is expressly verboten!) Everything must be filed with 40 copies, so a 50 page petition is now 2,000 pages to print. Not exactly environmentally-friendly, nor the most accessible to the people.
Then, when you get to the court, you’re not actually allowed to bring the documents into the clerk’s office. This is apparently for security reasons, because you could hide weapons in between thousands of pages of paper, I gathered. Instead, all documents must be brought to a security guard outside the back of the building, who will — get this — hand you a garbage bag, ask you to insert your documents, and then leave the documents on the curb for security processing. Perhaps it’s time for the court to consider allowing e-filing like every other federal court does.