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Constitutional Law

Exam 30
30 minutes

Fact Pattern

In response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is established. The Federal Government also begins an extensive overhaul of security screening technologies at airports.

One of the new technologies installed in most major airports is the ATI scanner, which uses X-rays and radio waves to find potential weapons that would be undetectable with a traditional metal detector. These scanners provide TSA agents with very detailed images of the body of the individual being scanned.

Along with the implementation of these scanners, the TSA updates its operations manual regarding the use of the scanners. Rather than completely replace the metal detectors, the government decides to use the scanners alongside the metal detectors as a supplemental security measure. The scanners are to be used for randomly selected passengers, as well as passengers who cannot use the metal detectors for medical or personal reasons and passengers who present a high security risk.

B travels at least once a month for business and has been repeatedly subject to the ATI scanner as a result of random selection. B is very upset at how invasive the scanner is, and worries about being subjected to it again in the future. She files suit against the TSA, asserting that the use of the ATI scanner on her person is a violation of her constitutional right to privacy. B requests a permanent injunction against the use of these scanners without probable cause.

As the litigation is ongoing, the TSA decides to revisit the ATI scanner policy. It orders all TSA security checkpoints to rely only on the metal detectors. It also updates the operations manual to reflect the new policy. However, the TSA does not remove any of the ATI scanners from the airports.

The TSA then moves to dismiss B’s claim on the grounds that the claim is now moot.


Questions

  1. How should the court rule? Explain, focusing solely on the mootness issue, and do not address the merits of B’s constitutional argument.

Question 1

How should the court rule? Explain, focusing solely on the mootness issue, and do not address the merits of B’s constitutional argument.

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