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TSA not Bound by Constitution

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:29 pm UTC
by jewish_scientist
I was reading this article on Lowering the Bar and something stuck out to me.

But in rulings that surprised no one, TSA administrative-law judges upheld the fine. Brennan’s constitutional challenge could not be raised there, because a handy TSA regulation specifically forbids its ALJs from even considering the validity of any TSA requirement “under the U.S. Constitution, … or other law.”


Seriously! A court who's authority ultimately rests on the Constitution is forbidden from considering the Constitution. I do not even know what more to say.

Re: TSA not Bound by Constitution

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:45 pm UTC
by Chen
I think this is more their internal lawyers and regulations don't have them check all of them vs federal or state law. I'm guessing with the intent that if they're doing something to violate federal or state law, it's on the government to come tell them to stop? I don't know how it works but it does make sense they wouldn't necessarily have constitutional lawyers in their midst. I guess that's why the Ninth Circuit ended up hearing the appeal in the end as well.

Re: TSA not Bound by Constitution

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:29 pm UTC
by cphite
Chen wrote:I think this is more their internal lawyers and regulations don't have them check all of them vs federal or state law. I'm guessing with the intent that if they're doing something to violate federal or state law, it's on the government to come tell them to stop? I don't know how it works but it does make sense they wouldn't necessarily have constitutional lawyers in their midst. I guess that's why the Ninth Circuit ended up hearing the appeal in the end as well.


Basically, yes... Their role is to determine whether or not their agents acted in accordance with TSA requirements - period. If TSA requirements are unconstitutional or contrary to some other law, that is up to the Circuit Court to decide.

It doesn't mean the TSA isn't bound by the Constitution (or other laws) as the thread title implies. It simply means that the TSA does not, by itself, determine whether or not it's in compliance.

Re: TSA not Bound by Constitution

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:04 pm UTC
by dg61
cphite wrote:
Chen wrote:I think this is more their internal lawyers and regulations don't have them check all of them vs federal or state law. I'm guessing with the intent that if they're doing something to violate federal or state law, it's on the government to come tell them to stop? I don't know how it works but it does make sense they wouldn't necessarily have constitutional lawyers in their midst. I guess that's why the Ninth Circuit ended up hearing the appeal in the end as well.


Basically, yes... Their role is to determine whether or not their agents acted in accordance with TSA requirements - period. If TSA requirements are unconstitutional or contrary to some other law, that is up to the Circuit Court to decide.

It doesn't mean the TSA isn't bound by the Constitution (or other laws) as the thread title implies. It simply means that the TSA does not, by itself, determine whether or not it's in compliance.


Not having a internal oversight division or department is a bad idea itself-you risk opening yourself up to all sorts of problems.