NEW YORK CITY A federal appeals court said Friday that random bag searches on New York subways are constitutional, agreeing with a lower court that the police tactic is an effective and minimally invasive way to help protect a prime terror target.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to the searches by the New York Civil Liberties Union, saying U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman properly concluded in December that the program was "reasonably effective."
Searches on the nation's largest subway system began after the deadly terrorist bombings in London's subways in July 2005. The NYCLU sued, arguing that they were an unprecedented intrusion on privacy that terrorists could easily evade.
The appeals court said Berman properly concluded that preventing a terrorist attack on the subway was important enough to subject subway riders to random searches.