[...] The searches at all three major Washington area airports and across the nation have met resistance in some cities as airport managers assess their legality. The measures, ordered by the federal agency in charge of airport security, have been criticized by civil liberties groups and prompted legal scholars to question whether random searches imposed by the federal government violated states' rights.
At least one major airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, said it would not comply with the directive because it ran counter to state laws prohibiting police from searching a vehicle without a specific reason. "We can't just stop everybody, or stop every third car or every blue car," said airport spokesman Bob Parker.
The Transportation Security Administration instructed local police on Feb. 8 to begin the searches "in response to threats and intelligence information" it received. [...] In its defense, the agency pointed to several cases in which federal courts ruled that vehicles could be searched for reasons of public safety. [...]
Constitutional experts said the TSA could face a fight over the new rules. "There is a serious constitutional question about whether the federal government can direct local law enforcement agencies to do anything," said Georgetown University law professor Mark Tushnet. [...]
Police Searching Cars at Random Outside Airports
Current Music: Franke Potente -- Believe ♬