Back in the 1970's, the frog was put in the water. A case came before the 9th Circuit of Appeals, the United States vs Davis.
One day in 1962, Mr. Davis attempted to board a Trans World Airlines flight with a loaded revolver. This revolver was in his briefcase, which was searched by TWA staff. Mr. Davis was taken in to custody. Blah, Blah, Blah the 9th Circuit decided that passengers gave "implied consent" when purchasing a ticket. Also the concept of "Administrative Searches" came in to effect, essentially saying that searches were OK, if they were a matter of routine... Seriously.
noting that airport screenings are considered to be administrative searches because they are conducted as part of a general regulatory scheme, where the essential administrative purpose is to prevent the carrying of weapons or explosives aboard aircraft
Later, in 2005, this president was cited, again in the 9th Circuit, in United States vs. Marquez. This case dealt with Marquez trying to get some Cocaine to Alaska. He was caught and said that his rights were violated by the TSA. The Davis case was cited as the president in where the TSA has a blank check as to how and what they can search.
The interesting thing to note here is that in Davis, the gun was found by a private company, but in Marquez the coke was found by a government worker. In the decision, this was not mentioned. Whether it was ignored by the Justices, or overlooked to me is of grave concern.
What was mentioned that the searches are only legal if passengers can opt out, and choose not to fly. In my opinion, this is a simple cop out. This case should go before the Supreme Court.
There you have it.