Eleventh Circuit ruled fear of terrorist attack not justification for searching protesters

On October 15, 2010, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that fear of a terrorist attack is not an adequate justification for searching protesters. Following the 9/11 attacks, authorities required protestors at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly the School of the Americas) in Fort Benning, Georgia to go through metal detectors. In its opinion, the court stated, "there is no basis for using Sept. 11 as an excuse for searching the protesters." The protests in question were organized through the School of the Americas Watch (SOAW), which accused the Institute of training Latin American soldiers who subsequently violated human rights and committed atrocities in their home countries. The group continues to protest annually at the school.

Learn more about the legal consequences of the 9/11 attacks at JURIST Features.

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