FC: Update on John Gilmore's lawsuit over secret FAA regulations

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Wed Nov 20 2002 - 11:17:07 PST

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    Previous Politech message:
    "John Gilmore sues Feds over secret your-papers-please rule"
    To: declanat_private, gnuat_private
    Subject: Re: FC: Transportation Security Admin. confirms do-not-fly list
    In-reply-to: <>
    Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 02:16:58 -0800
    From: John Gilmore <gnuat_private>
    The US Government has responded to my lawsuit challenging the
    unpublished air-ID regulations.  In summary, they argue that I can't
    challenge the no-fly list or anything other than the ID demand
    because, having never shown ID, the no-fly list was not applied to me;
    that I can't sue in a District Court anyway because the Court of
    Appeals is supposed to have original jurisdiction; that the government
    can make any rule it wants which relates to air security, and penalize
    the public over violations, without ever telling the public what the
    rule is; that being refused passage unless I present an ID does not
    infringe my constitutional right to travel anyway; that being
    prevented from traveling anoymously does not implicate any First
    Amendment interests; that all forms of airport security are fully
    constitutional 4th-Amendment searches; and that since my right to
    travel is not being infringed, these searches give me equal protection
    just like all members of the public, because any 'rational' reason for
    singling me out will suffice.
    The regulations I'm challenging purport to require air and train
    travelers to show a "government issued ID".  Every traveler has been
    subjected to these "requirements", but it turns out that they aren't
    really required by any published law or regulation.  And if you refuse
    to meet the supposed requirements, you find out that there are
    alternative requirements, that they weren't telling you about.
    It is easy for the government to single out members of Greenpeace, and
    prevent them from flying using a no-fly list, by making everyone show
    ID to fly.  (If no ID was required, any persecuted minority would soon
    learn to fly under assumed names.)  The Nixon Administration had its
    "enemies list", who it subjected to IRS audits and other harassment.
    But even that evil President didn't prevent his "enemies" from
    moving around the country to associate with anyone they liked.  The
    Bush Administration's list interferes with freedom of association and
    with the constitutional right to travel.
    As my experience on July 4th, 2002, in the San Francisco airport
    demonstrated, people are free to not show ID, if they spend half an
    hour arguing with security personnel.  But then, catch-22, they can
    board the plane only if they'll submit to a physical search like
    the ones they subjected Green Party members and other "on the list"
    people to.
    So, you can identify yourself to them and be harassed for your
    political beliefs, unconstitutionally.  Or you can stand up for your
    right to travel anonymously, and be searched unconstitutionally.  Or
    you can just not travel.  That's why I'm suing the government.
    The government motion to dismiss my case is filed at:
    The index to all the related documents is at:
    We will be filing our reply by the end of November.
    	John Gilmore
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