A victory for national security

Back in early August, I blogged about the NYCLU’s (New York Civil Liberties Union) plans to file a lawsuit against the NYPD’s policy on random searches of New York City subway passengers.

Well, they did get around to filing that lawsuit. The case boiled down to them arguing two things: 1) random searches in and of themselves are useless and 2) random searches create the potential of ‘racial profiling.’

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman issued a ruling that stood solidly on the side of national security, something that is sure to frustrate terrorists but irritate so-called ‘civil liberties advocates.’ Via Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge ruled on Friday that police had a constitutional right to randomly search passengers’ bags on the New York City subway to deter terrorist attacks.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ruled the searches were an effective and appropriate means to fight terrorism, and constituted only a “minimal intrusion” of privacy.

“The risk to public safety of a terrorist bombing of New York City’s subway system is substantial and real,” Berman wrote in his opinion.

“The need for implementing counter-terrorism measures is indisputable, pressing, ongoing and evolving.”

Random bag searches began on July 22 after a second set of bomb attacks on London’s transit system.

In a statement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the ruling, calling bag searches a “reasonable precaution” that police would continue to take.

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), which had sued to stop the searches, plans to appeal, Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. She said the “unprecedented” bag search program violated a basic freedom.

Judge Berman gets it. Score one for the good guys!

Hat tip: Jay at Stop The ACLU

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