We can call Mr. Gilmore what we like (jerk, nutcase, etc). That is not the real issue. The issue that he raises is that asking for him to show ID
is an illegal search under the constitution.
From what I have read so far, the issues of the case have not been argued; only the issue of secrecy, which the TSA
had requested and had been denied. The case is before the 9th circuit to determine if the case should be heard in secret. There is not one prayer that the TSA
will prevail on that point, because the TSA
requirement (as it is required now), is part of the Patriot Act. It really does not involve any procedural issues that the TSA
should keep confidential.
Mr. Gilmore's case is without merit. There are two reasons for this:
1) Any governmental agency has the right to request ID
from any person. In point of fact, ANYONE has the right to ask for ID
from another person. Based on the situation, any number of outcomes may occur. If you are pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer and you do not present your ID
, you are taken into custody for interfering with a peace officer in the performance of his duty. You have the right to keep your information secret, and if you elect to not show your ID
, that is perfectly OK
. You may not be allowed into certain parks, sensitive areas, etc. or be able to cash a check.
This is the issue that comes into play with Mr. Gilmore. He is perfectly within his rights not to show his ID
. If he elects not to do so, the airline does not have an obligation to board him, since the government requires them to establish the identity of any passenger boarding its aircraft.
If Mr. Gilmore elects not to show his ID
to the TSA
, he will not be arrested, he will simply be denied access to the sterile area of the airport. In that event, he won't be going anywhere. The issue of illegal search and seizure has to do with the government taking an action to search someone or his/her property where the government believes that the person being searched has committed a crime. Mr. Gilmore has not committed any crime, to our knowledge, and the government has not proceeded to hold him or interrogate him for his failure to show his ID
. Simply asking for his ID
is not an illegal search. Taking him to a room and making him take his clothes off for a search when there is no probably cause to do so WOULD be considered an illegal search.
2) Mr. Gilmore is simply trying to get his point in the media (which he has now succeeded in doing). He wants to get other people to believe in his position, using his right to litigate the matter to get the publicity he needs to accomplish his goals. It is going to be very evident to the judge, when the case is finally heard, that Mr. Gilmore has no case, because no law has been broken in the manner in which the TSA
or other airport agency has asked for his ID
. Once the 9th circuit rules on the case (which they may NOT do--they may kick it back to the Superior Court), it will go back to the court of origin, where it will be summarily dismissed with prejudice.
For Mr. Gilmore: Shame on you for wasting the time of the courts on an issue that you know upon which you will not prevail. Whether the ACLU went to you or v.v., you demean the system by bringing a frivolous action, taking the time of the Superior Court and the 9th Circuit. They have much more important decisions to render. I know that life is tough in Silicon Valley, you can't exactly get what you want? Get over it. If you decide that you do not wish to show your ID
at the airport, that is your right. Just understand that you will never get near a passenger (or even charter) aircraft in this country again. EVER. That is our right.
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998