The NY Civil Liberties Union is filing a lawsuit against New York City that questions whether the NYPD's subway bag checks are constitutional. The NYCLU argues that the bag checks are "virtually certain neither to catch any person trying to carry explosives into the subway nor to deter such an effort" and "unprecedented in terms of the threat it poses to core constitutional rights." There are five plaintiffs on the suit, one who is a September 11 survivor and another is described by the NY Times as "'political activist, writer and media critic' who is worried about being harassed if the police notice the political materials he carries." It's totally Al Franken - we've seen him at the West 72nd Street subway! But while the NYCLU is moving ahead with this lawsuit (and a Harvard Law professor doesn't think the NYCLU will win, as courts have been making exceptions in this post-September 11 world), Assemblyman Dov Hikind's feeling that the NYPD should racial profile has urged a few City Council members to ask that the NYPD really use racial profiling. There's nothing like hysteria amongst our politicians.

Here's the NYCLU's information about what your rights are during these bag checks. submit information. And Gothamist on the subway bag checks.