Diary

THE GROPE FELT 'ROUND THE WORLD: Don't You DARE Touch My Daughter Like That!

When I first reported on the story of the little six year old girl being groped by the TSA at an airport, I was outraged and hoped you would be too.  Then the story went viral.  It is now the topic de jour on a number of blogs, news sites and in the mainstream media.  Your outrage should now become organized, and here’s why.

There can be no doubt that despite the image the United States Supreme Court likes to perpetuate, they are a body politic.  I know, I know, the first time you heard that Daddy was Santa, the whole Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy world you were living in dissolved before your eyes.  But, we are grown-ups now and should be able to face the truth.  Courts react to the public will, or at least that much of the public will as their own philosophical biases will permit them to act upon.

If this were not true then every decision would be unanimous, right?

Just take a look at the number of 5-4 decisions over the years, rendered squarely along a philosophical divide.  Or ask yourself why, if the decisions of the Supreme Court truly emanate from some universal fountain of truth, they are sometimes reversed?  In other words, why, if the Dred Scott decision was so inherently correct was there any room in the world for Brown vs. Board of Education?

If Supreme Court justices are truly chosen on the basis of their superhuman ability to divine pure unadulterated justice, then why do we fret over who becomes president, and why do we tolerate the carnival atmosphere of a Clarence Thomas style confirmation hearing?

Grow up.  Judges are humans; they learned their life lessons in different environments; they had different teachers, they have been molded to accept and reject various ideas based upon their personal beliefs and personal biases and sometimes, but not often, they even seem to pay attention to the groundswell of discontent among the American people and allow our will to affect their decisions.

Now, back to the groped little girl.

Our Constitution very clearly grants but limited powers to the Federal Government.  Certain liberties, which we acknowledge we possess from birth, purely by the Grace of God, are protected from government interference by these limitations.

One such liberty is our right to be free from “unreasonable searches”.  Over time the debate among lawyers, in courts both state and federal, have pretty well settled what constitutes a “search”.  But the debate over where to draw the line between “reasonable” and “unreasonable” continues to be litigated.

It was once a pretty bright line.  No search could be conducted without a warrant, issued by a disinterested magistrate upon a showing of “probable cause” .  But, over time,  judges were persuaded that such restrictions were themselves “unreasonable” and soon warrant-less searches, in some very limited circumstances, were deemed to be “not unreasonable”.

As more and more time went by and we the people seemed more interested in jailing criminals than in protecting our own rights, judges found shelter in public opinion and began carving out one exception to the warrant requirement after another.  Now, in this day and age, it is virtually impossible to find a judge willing to declare ANY search unreasonable, warrant or not, so long as the end result is the seizure of some contraband or evidence of a crime.

But the groping of this little girl is so far beyond even the tortured laxity applied to the fourth amendment in our modern era of “the ends justify the means” that we Americans need to become very vocal, organized and relentless in creating another bright line at which government agents must be told to “STOP” by the courts.

There is no probable cause which can reasonably be argued which would justify ANY search of you, me or a little girl merely because we wish to board an airplane.  And I cannot imagine any Supreme Court Justice declaring it to be “reasonable” that a law abiding American citizen who wishes to board an airplane must first allow a government agent to grope his or her genitals.

If a school teacher, camp counselor, church director, neighbor or older cousin touched a little six year old girl this way, they would be arrested!  How can we stand by and permit our government to tell us that we MUST SUBMIT to this abusive behavior at the hands of their agents?

Folks, forget the battle at the Concord bridge.  This is the grope felt ’round the world.  This is the place where the battle begins to save our liberty, to preserve our dignity and to reign in the federal government.

This battle requires the support of each and every one of us.

If what they did to this little girl is not an “unreasonable search”, then I would submit that the fourth amendment no longer has any meaning at all.