“THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL: A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF CITIZENSHIP,” by Richard Sobel and Ramón L. Torres, JOURNAL OF TRANSPORTATION LAW, LOGISTICS & POLICY, Vol. 80, Spring 2013.
The right to travel in the U.S. is a fundamental right inherent in citizenship and the nature of the federal union. It existed before the creation of the U.S. and appears in the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution and Supreme Court recognize and protect the right to interstate travel. The travel right entails privacy, leaving citizens free to travel interstate without government interference and intrusion. The post 9/11 imposition of official photo identification for travel, watch-list prescreening programs, and intrusive airport scanning and search methods unreasonably burden the right to travel and privacy. These regulations impermissibly require citizens to relinquish one fundamental right of privacy to exercise another right of travel. The original conception of the travel right embodies the right broadly as encompassing all modes of transportation. Contrary to the appellate single mode doctrine, if any single means of travel is abridged, citizens’ constitutionally enshrined right to travel is violated. The Supreme Court needs to articulate an originally consistent and politically robust multi-modal travel rights doctrine.