The Transportation Security Administration denied Thursday it was stonewalling a federal appeals court’s year-old decision demanding the agency hold public hearings concerning the so-called nude body scanners installed in U.S. airport security checkpoints.
On July 15, 2011, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit set aside a constitutional challenge brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center trying to stop the government from using intrusive body scanners across U.S. airports. But the decision also ordered TSA “to act promptly” and hold public hearings and publicly adopt rules and regulations about the scanners’ use, which it has not done, in violation of federal law, the court ruled.
The agency said in a court filing Thursday that there was “no basis whatsoever for its assertion that TSA has delayed implementing this court’s mandate.” (.pdf)
The TSA said the agency was having staffing issues and was awaiting approval from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Management and Budget before it releases public documents associated with its 2009 decision to make the body scanners the “primary” security apparatus at the nation’s airports.