The Constitutionality of Demanding ID for Air Travel
This hearing is taking place today, for any readers in the SF Bay Area. Even if found Constitutional (which it would not be), the efficacy of photo ID as a security tool is sketchy at best: for the policy to be effective, the somnolent rent-a-cop at the x-ray machine would have to be able to look at your ID and know whether or not you are really you. As most airport staff have never met me, we can all agree that this is impossible. ID checks protect the airlines against the reselling of nonrefundable tickets, but they do nothing towards guessing the intentions of passengers. That's what x-rays are for.
The TSA and airlines claim that the ID requirement for travel is a law, but the law isn't published anywhere. If it were published, it would be subject to Constitutional challenge; previous Supreme Court cases during the anti-Segregation fight established that the Feds have no right to condition citizens' ability to travel across state lines.
Now the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing John's case, and the hearing is open to the public. I wish I could be there -- this is history being made, and John deserves all our support for having the guts to put his money and liberty on the line to fight for the Constitution.