11th Circuit: Fear of terror attack not enough to warrant searching protestors

The US 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that fear of a terrorist attack is not a justification to search protestors. Authorities began requiring protestors at the so-called School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia, known formally as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, to pass through metal detectors after the September 11th terrorist attacks, but a unanimous three-judge panel held Friday that the searches "eviscerated the Fourth Amendment" The court reasoned, "in the absence of some reason to believe that international terrorists would target or infiltrate this protest, there is no basis for using Sept. 11 as an excuse for searching the protesters." Read the full text of the opinion here [PDF]. The protesters gather annually to protest the School, which they maintain trains Latin American soldiers to violate the human rights of people in their home countries. The protest group SOA Watch has material on the appeals court ruling. AP has more.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.