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07/27/2005 Archived Entry: ""
Gordon P. writes, While fruitlessly searching for information to confirm or falsify a colleague's claim that the Supreme Court has ruled that the 4th Amendment does _not_ protect passengers on public transportation from search w/out Probable Cause (anyone heard similar claims?), I came across the following egregious arrogation of power: Click 'more' to continue...
06/06/05 Foreign-flag cruise ships must adhere to US disability laws Norwegian Cruise Line, which sails cruise ships such as the Norwegian Sea and the Norwegian Star, must have its ships comply with the United States American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Lower courts had found that since Congress has not explicitly included foreign-flag ships in the ADA, it did not apply. The Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that the Act is applicable when a foreign-flag ship is operating in US waters. Justice Kennedy wrote that though cruise ships were not specifically mentioned, they easily fell under the categories of public accommodation and specified public transportation. The case, Spector v Norwegian Cruise Lines, was decided in a complicated tangle of opinions, parts of which were decided 5-4 and others 6-3.
Last I heard, _ships were considered to be part of the sovereign territory of the nation whose flag they flew_, and apart from a limited number of circumstances and situations spelled out in detail by international treaty, as long as they abide by the Laws of the Sea and the shipping regulations of any country whose waters they are temporarily in, no other nation has jurisdiction over them. So when did the U.S. Government acquire the power to regulate the interior design and layout of another nation's sovereign territory? What's next --- can U.S. FedGov officials also demand that foreign gov'ts retrofit their embassies to comply with the "Americans with Disability" Act? This ruling is INSANE. >:-(