We Can Enhance Security and Preserve Rights

By Rubin, Peter J. | The Christian Science Monitor, October 5, 2001 | Go to article overview

We Can Enhance Security and Preserve Rights


Rubin, Peter J., The Christian Science Monitor


After Sept. 11, our nation has begun a tragically overdue reassessment of airport security. Some argue that our security needs will require us to abandon some of our most fundamental rights and liberties. But we need not choose between constitutional rights and airport security.

Undoubtedly, the balance between security and freedom will be altered by the steps we must take. But the requirements of security can be - as they always have been in our country - reconciled with constitutional demands of liberty and equality that are at the core of the American way of life.

On airport security, the constitutional touchstone must be the command of the Equal Protection Clause that each person be treated as an individual. Calls for ethnic profiling of Arabs and Arab Americans at airports - while perhaps an understandable response - echo those of an earlier time of war when, to our shame, we abandoned this constitutional principle. During World War II, more than 100,000 people were placed in internment camps because of Japanese ancestry. In 1988, Congress apologized for this "fundamental injustice." The 1944 Supreme Court case approving the action, Korematsu v. United States, is one of the most shameful in the Court's history.

The Constitution permits the government ample means to protect security at airports. Airplanes can be fitted with inside-locking steel cockpit doors. Air marshals can be used where their benefit is thought to outweigh the risk of having firearms on board. Airplane crews can be trained not to comply with hijackers, once presumed to be seeking only hostages. At airports, access to secure areas, runways, and parked aircraft can be severely restricted. None of these changes raise constitutional concerns.

Passenger screening - the search of passengers and luggage - does implicate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on "unreasonable searches and seizures." But passenger scrutiny can be strengthened substantially without violating that provision.

While suspicionless searches are ordinarily forbidden, under the constitutional rule of reasonableness applicable at airports, passengers may be evenhandedly searched as intrusively as is necessary to prevent the risk of hijacking.

The extension of the search for weapons on persons and in carry- on luggage to include sharp objects is thus clearly constitutional. Such searches might have prevented these hijackings. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

We Can Enhance Security and Preserve Rights
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.