TSA May Require a Full-Body Scan, Rather than Pat-Down

CEI's Marc Scribner comments to USA Today on the TSA's recent decision to end its policy of allowing all travelers to opt for a pat-down instead of full-body scanning in airport security lanes: 

“We’re in bizarro-world with TSA,” said Marc Scribner, a research fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The institute has a federal lawsuit pending against TSA to force the agency to go through a formal rulemaking to use the body scanners, which began going into service in 2007, so that the public can comment on how and when the machines are used. A July court filing said more than 740 scanners are installed in 160 airports.

TSA got more than 5,500 comments when it proposed a rule in 2013 dealing with the scanners, but that proposal was never completed. As part of the legal case, TSA is now scheduled to publish a final rule in March.

But Scribner said the change Friday is another example of TSA ignoring the law for how regulations are adopted, which leaves travelers uncertain about the rules.

“It wasn’t clear before what the policy was. Now it’s even less clear,” Scribner said. “I don’t know if they could have done anything worse.”