Judge rules random searches on passenger ferry are legal

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(Host) A challenge to security searches on the Lake Champlain Ferry has been struck down in federal court.

VPR’s John Dillon Reports:

(Dillon) A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against the government for searches under a post-9/11 maritime security law.

Two men who frequently ride the Lake Champlain ferry sued the government. They said inspections of cars and carry-on luggage were invasive and violated their constitutional rights. But U.S District Judge J. Garvan Murtha said the random searches were not overly intrusive.

The Lake Champlain Transportation Company is bound by Coast Guard regulations. The company’s lawyer, Michael Brow of Burlington, said his clients followed the Cost Guard’s plan.

(Brow) “So they do it in accordance with that plan, and the court has said that plan does not unduly impinge upon people’s privacy interests.”

(Dillon) The two people who brought the case, Michael Cassidy and Robert Cabin, have 30 days to file an appeal.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m John Dillon in Montpelier.

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