Constitutional Law

DC Circuit Appears Unlikely to Block 'Nude' Body Scanners


A federal appeals court considering a challenge to full body scanners on Thursday focused on government public comment rules rather than constitutional issues.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit appeared unlikely to block the so-called “nude” scanners, according to an account by Wired’s Threat Level blog. The judges seemed to be “stuck in the procedural muck” as they focused on whether the government violated procedural rules requiring public comment, the story says.

Justice Department lawyer Beth Brinkmann argued that public input wasn’t necessary because Congress required transportation officials to use effective technology to protect the airlines.

The case was filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. It argues in its brief (PDF) that the “invasive” searches:

• Violate travelers’ Fourth Amendment rights.

• Violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by failing to preserve modesty for religious passengers.

• Violate the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act by capturing images of private body parts.

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