Local chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union launched a campaign against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s random bag search policy last month and are now considering a legal challenge, according to the Washington Examiner.

“Random searches on our regional public transit systems, which accommodate millions of passengers annually, will whittle away the rights of those citizens while giving only the illusion of safety and one of its worth,” the D.C., Maryland and Virginia chapters of the organization wrote in a letter to the WMATA published on the ACLU website.

The ACLU has been trying to arrange a meeting with Metro leaders since December, when WMATA started the bag search program. On Feb. 28, the organization announced its plan to “derail the Metro Bag Search Program” on its website.

Johnny Barnes, executive director of the ACLU for the District, said that WMATA’s program is expensive, ineffective and violates passengers’ rights.

“[Searches without suspicion] are making millions of passengers guilty until proven innocent,” he said.

Barnes added that the program is a violation of the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

“We at the ACLU believe that Americans can be safe and free, but we don’t believe we can be safe if we are not free,” he said. “Making the Bill of Rights the first casualty of war means those who would do us harm are winning.”

For now, the ACLU’s campaign is limited to educating riders about the program and their opposition to it.  According to Barnes, the ACLU is also planning a public forum on the issue for some time in April.

But the organization is also taking steps toward suing the transit authority and is looking for potential plaintiffs for the case.

“We’re taking any information from someone who’s been stopped and searched,” Barnes said. “The courts frown upon searches without suspicion.”

Mark Stern (COL ’13), the events director for the College Democrats, supports the ACLU’s campaign.

“I think the ACLU has a very strong case here,” he said. “You have police trying to search people with no probable cause, with no suspicion. That’s illegal. that’s unconstitutional — that’s not allowed.”

Representatives of WMATA and the Georgetown College Republicans could not be reached for comment.

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