A Shameful Admission
Mark this day in history. I hate to say it, but the New York Civil Liberties Union gets one right - for all the wrong reasons.
Their claim that the searches violate the 4th Amendment is laughable. Entrance to the subways is not freely available to the public - it is subject to a test, that being the payment of a fare. As a result of that test, the subways can add further tests if it so desires as long as those tests are reasonable. Besides that, the searches are voluntary.
Where they get it right is when they say, "The NYPD is not conducting searches at most subway entrances at any given time, is giving advance notice about searches at those entrances where searches are being conducted, is allowing people selected for a search to walk away, and is not basing the searches on any suspicious activity of individuals. As common sense would suggest, the NYPD's program is virtually certain neither to catch any person trying to carry explosives into the subway system nor to deter such an effort. Indeed, given the way the Department has implemented its search program, the only people being searched are innocent users of the subway system."
People who are ready to turn themself into strawberry jam are, by definition, stupid, but that doesn't mean they're dumb. They'd certainly know enough to find a station that's not searched, pick a rush hour and happily go to meet their 72 virgin sumo wrestlers.
Any time New York wants to try implementing an effective way to protect the unprotectable would, I think, be of great interest to us all!