01 Oct No Right to Travel?
Should the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights list a protected right to travel?
This past weekend many citizens and visitors to Philadelphia were denied the right to freely travel for days on end. How long is too long to prevent someone from driving or bicycling to their home? What about forbidding someone from entering the block they live on with an apple or orange because it is possible the item could be used to throw at a favored V.I.P.?
The Washington Post called the Pope’s visit “the largest security operation in U.S. history”. It quoted a professor of national security Scott White, who stated the “city’s plan to close highways and bridges for the duration of the pope’s visit potentially unprecedented. Even visits by presidents require only temporary shutdowns, he noted.
“I don’t know what scenario they’ve strung together to come up with that plan of action,”
Article 4 of the Articles of Confederation included an explicit right to travel, stating in relevant part, “and the people of each State shall free ingress and regress to and from any other State”. This Wikipedia entry does a good job of discussing the hodgepodge of legal rulings that amounts to our current jurisprudence regarding the freedom of travel.
Is freedom of movement sufficiently protected today, or would we be better off if, like free speech, or the right to bear arms, it was added to the Constitution?