A Cavity Search Too Many? Libertarians Want Sheriffs to Arrest TSA Agents
Search and Seizure
Florida's Libertarian Party is asking the state's sheriffs departments to stop and frisk the people -- TSA agents -- who get paid to play grab-ass at airports.
The party recently sent out an email to Florida's 67 sheriffs and demanded the arrest of TSA agents, claiming that the TSA routinely violates the U.S. and state constitutions and commits sexual battery.
The letter isn't a moving work of prose -- stylistically, it's more John Galt monologue than Thomas Paine's "Common Sense." But it's still fairly amusing if you've ever been felt up by a burly airport guard with questionable motives.
So, for your late-afternoon reading pleasure...
On this day in 1776, our forebears founded this Nation by declaring their independence from an oppressive government. This beautiful and timeless document expressed the self-evident truth that all people have certain inalienable rights, upon which no government can infringe. They asserted that governments are formed among men to secure these rights, not to impede or restrict them.
The Libertarian Party of Florida is reaching out to you, and to all of Florida's 67 Constitutional Sheriffs. We, The People of the State of Florida must turn to you as our last line of defense against a federal government that is usurping authority and ignoring the rule of law.
I am referring specifically to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and their [sic] egregious violations of the United States Constitution, as well as the Florida Constitution and state law.
Every single day, TSA employees conduct electronic and bodily searches upon tens of thousands of Florida citizens and visitors at airports, and more recently at bus terminals, rail stations, and highways. They are searching the persons and seizing the effects of travelers without warrant or probable cause. Specifically, they are in blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads as follows:
"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."
These TSA agents are also in clear violation of Article One, Section 12 of the Florida Constitution, which reads as follows:
"Searches and seizures.-- The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and against the unreasonable interception of private communications by any means, shall not be violated. No warrant shall be issued except upon probable cause, supported by affidavit, particularly describing the place or places to be searched, the person or persons, thing or things to be seized, the communication to be intercepted, and the nature of evidence to be obtained."
In addition, one of the methods by which the TSA agents conduct these searches, referred to as the "Enhanced Pat Down," is clearly within the definition of felony sexual battery, as codified in Florida Statute 794.011.
I would like to point out that this statute clearly defines that it is a first degree felony when sexual battery is committed by a law enforcement agent in paragraph 4(g), which reads:
"When the offender is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer as defined by s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9), who is certified under the provisions of s. 943.1395 or is an elected official exempt from such certification by virtue of s. 943.253, or any other person in a position of control or authority in a probation, community control, controlled release, detention, custodial, or similar setting, and such officer, official, or person is acting in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the offender is in a position of control or authority as an agent or employee of government."
As Sheriff, you have the absolute duty to enforce the law uniformly and without prejudice. You are, at best, engaged in selective enforcement by choosing to further ignore these flagrant violations of federal and state law. At worst, you are complicit.
If you have TSA agents within your county that are violating the law, then you must act. Warn the TSA agents that they are subject to arrest if they continue to violate the law. Should they continue, then you must begin making arrests.
We urge you to remember the oath you took to support, protect and defend the Constitution of both the State of Florida and the United States of America. On behalf of all Floridians, the Libertarian Party of Florida calls on you to do exactly that.
We turn to you, our Constitutional Sheriffs, to enforce the law in accordance with your sworn duty.
Adrian Wyllie, Chairman
Libertarian Party of Florida
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