TSA responds to Fourth Circuit Court opinion on challenges to agency’s authority to pat down passengers as part of security screening

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National Press Release
Thursday, December 6, 2012

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued the following statement today in response to the Fourth Circuit Court opinion in Blitz v. Napolitano, No. 11-2283, affirming the dismissal of several passengers’ constitutional challenge regarding TSA’s security screening procedures.

With this decision, three courts of appeals now have affirmed that challenges to TSA checkpoint Standard Operating Procedures, including passenger pat-down procedures prescribed therein, must be brought in the court of appeals in the first instance.

“This decision provides more clarity to the process by which challenges to our screening procedures are determined,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in the wake of September 11, 2001, to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems and ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce. Today, TSA secures the Nation’s airports and screens all commercial airline passengers and baggage. TSA uses a risk-based strategy and works closely with transportation, law enforcement and intelligence communities to set the standard for excellence in transportation security. TSA’s workforce is comprised of approximately 50,000 frontline officers who screen approximately 1.8 million travelers each day at more than 450 airports nationwide. For more information about TSA, please visit our website at www.tsa.gov.