It is a little known fact that a passenger is not required to go through a strip search scanner – the TSA offers an “opt out” to have your person searched. This is NOT the “pat down” you might get at a sporting event where they touch your outer clothing to feel for prohibited items such as alcohol containers. Instead, the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) follows a secret procedure that has not been made public. We can assure you that the procedure includes having a TSO touch your genitals and breasts – if you searched your neighbors and your neighbors’ children this way for potential weapons when they visited your house, you would be arrested.
In a Supreme Court decision Terry vs State of Ohio (http://openjurist.org/392/us/1/terry-v-state-of-ohio ), the Supreme Court ruled that police are allowed to “frisk” potential suspects, even if not under arrest, based on the potential for an immediate threat of injury or death to a police officer. Under the administrative search doctrine, the TSA is asserting the government right to perform a “Terry frisk” without remotely reaching the relaxed 4th amendment standards that the Supreme Court carefully laid out in this decision. It is important to note that the Supreme Court justified the frisk method based on the fact that many officers were killed every year by people with hidden weapons. A police frisk should not be allowed by non-law enforcement government workers, especially using more relaxed standards than those which police must follow.