Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said on Sunday that airport security should be turned over to private corporations because the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) effectively "voids" the Fourth Amendment.
Paul's son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), claimed last week that he had been "detained" by the TSA for refusing an intrusive pat down at an airport in Nashville, Tennessee.
"You have been raising money on your website on the notion of ending the TSA," CNN host Candy Crowley told the presidential candidate Sunday. "If you got rid of the TSA, what would you put in its place?"
"Well, it shouldn't be government," Paul replied. "You know, the people who protect very dangerous chemical plants, they're private sources. They have their police cares, they have their fences, they have their security, and they do a very good job. The assumption that the government has to do this is the wrong assumption."
"I voted against the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA, and it's a bureaucratic monster," he added. "It totally voids the concept of the Fourth Amendment -- searches and prodding a poking, you know, with no permission. And they trap us into into it, and there's no way you can travel if you don't do it."
In 1973, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Fourth Amendment did not apply to airport security, "noting that airport screenings are considered to be administrative searches because they are conducted as part of a general regulatory scheme, where the essential administrative purpose is to prevent the carrying of weapons or explosives aboard aircraft."
Paul did not say how privatizing airport screenings would circumvent the Ninth Circuit's ruling.