Monday, March 12, 2012

Unwarranted Searches of Vehicles

March 12, 2012

Hank Glamann
Public Information Officer
Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry System
Texas Department of Transportation

Topic: Unwarranted Searches of Vehicles
                 A follow up to Goons and the 4th Amendment

Mr. Glanmann;

This letter will be posted on T F Stern’s Rantings and The Moral Liberal.  Regardless of our ongoing disagreement as pertain to random searches of vehicles I wanted to thank you for your phone call and associated email regarding how the Texas Department of Transportation and Bolivar Ferry Operations have addressed the Coast Guard’s and Department of Homeland Security’s mandated random search measures. 

“33 CFR Chapter 1 (7-1-10 Edition)
Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security

CFR104.265 Security measures for access control
(a) General: The vessel owner or operator must ensure the implementation of security measures to:
(1) Deter the unauthorized introduction of dangerous substances and devices, including any device intended to damage or destroy persons, vessels, facilities, or ports;
(2) Secure dangerous substances and devices that are authorized by the owner or operator to be on board;
(3) Control access to the vessel.

As I explained, operations such as ours that are subject to these regulations formulate a plan in response, this plan is reviewed and approved by the Coast Guard, and upon such approval it becomes law. As I also mentioned, the plan under which we operate is intended to be the least intrusive possible within the limitations imposed by the regulations.”

I’m aware of your desire to protect the good people who use the Bolivar Ferry and would agree with your approach if searches were carried out in a manner which showed respect for an individual citizen’s constitutional right to be free from unwarranted searches.  The fact remains, as you stated in your correspondence, you formulated the procedures at the local level and sent the details of how to carry out the procedures on to the Coast Guard for approval knowing the content of such a plan would become the law of the land.   The framework for the law was approved with an understanding that the particulars, that is, the procedures for implementation would be filled in later.  The term for such transfer of power actually has a name, the Intelligible Principle .

The Intelligible Principle has been applied in far too many pieces of legislation and has been abused in just about every instance since this usurpation of power was approved by the Supreme Court as I wrote in regard to licensing locksmiths in the State of Texas.

“According to a Supreme Court ruling made by Chief Justice John Marshall many years ago such shifting of authority is constitutional under certain guidelines which have become blurred to the point of irrelevance.”

Marshall explained: If Congress delegates quasi-legislative powers to another body, it must provide a “general provision” by which “those who act” can “fill up the details.” In other words, Congress cannot give an outside agency a free hand to make law, but it can authorize the agency to flesh out the particulars of a law Congress has already shaped.”


“Not surprisingly, with such open-ended authority, the power and discretion of agencies expanded rapidly. In recent years, the Court has refused to limit agency power whenever the statute is silent or ambiguous on delegation and the agency’s regulations are based on a “permissible” interpretation of the statute. In practice, the vast majority of regulations are now deemed permissible.”

“This does not erase the issue of government having usurped authority in the Utopian desire to protect the general citizenry at the expense of individual constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not the purpose of government to sacrifice individual God given rights in the name of public safety; to do so turns individual citizens into subjects of the state.”

The public has entrusted elected representatives with upholding basic individual rights and we hold them, along with those who are employed as officers charged with enforcement of the law, responsible for destruction of principles and foundations of our constitutional republic; either through neglect of duty or by intent to transform our nation into a totalitarian socialist/communist society.  That having been expressed, the closing line in my original letter to the Texas Department of Transportation remains.  You cannot excuse yourselves by saying, “I was only doing my job” when you violate any citizen’s unalienable rights as protected by the Constitution.

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”  Benjamin Franklin


T.F. Stern

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

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