jgrassound asked: from my answer, the argument was that airports are "private" property, and therefore the TSA was actually operating as a sort of "Private Security Firm"? I seem to remember that being tossed around, but who knows with that organization anymore
The Supreme Court has long treated airports as getting a 4th Amendment pass, see, i.e., US v Montoya de Hernandez (Rehnquist’s balloon-swallower opinion) , but they most definitely are government agents. I have not heard the “private” firm argument, but I would not be surprised if it was thrown around. But when there were 19 year old National Guardsmen at the security lines carrying machine guns in 2002, they most definitely were NOT private security!
I acknowledge that even pre-2001 we had to sacrifice 4th Amendment rights when flying,but but the security measures today — the security theater all done at the expense of our rights - simply go two far and do not have any rational basis. In 2006, then Judge Samuel Alito actually wrote an opinion for the Court of Appeals (Third Circuit I believe) that was highly critical of the TSA tactics, and I have hoped that at some point he’d be a voice of reason on these issues, but so far there has not even been a case on the issue approach the court. And even if a case were to come to the Court, I have no confidence that the 4th Amendment would prevail. Ultimately it will require the people demanding their rights from Congress and the president.