Civil Liberties For Me…
I actually don’t think it’s surprising that conservatives have suddenly decided that privacy and dignity should be given some weight in the War on Terror (TM). The problem is that the awful new TSA program isn’t arbitrary enough for them. As I’ve said before, Robert Jackson said it extremely well:
I regard it as a salutary doctrine that cities, states and the Federal Government must exercise their powers so as not to discriminate between their inhabitants except upon some reasonable differentiation fairly related to the object of regulation. This equality is not merely abstract justice. The framers of the Constitution knew, and we should not forget today, that there is no more effective practical guaranty against arbitrary and unreasonable government than to require that the principles of law which officials would impose upon a minority must be imposed generally. Conversely, nothing opens the door to arbitrary action so effectively as to allow those officials to pick and choose only a few to whom they will apply legislation, and thus to escape the political retribution that might be visited upon them if larger numbers were affected.
So, of course, to wingers the necessity to violate people’s rights to confront allegedly existential threats becomes much less compelling when it’s their rights being violated. Hence, the inevitable calls from conservatives that the new TSA policies not be applied in a manner consistent with the equal protection of the laws.
…Serwer is very good on this.