What Is Interstate Travel? Meaning And What The Constitution Says


Interstate Travel is the right of citizens of the United States to move domestically without governmental abridgment.

Section 1, of the Fourteenth Amendment, reads:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court recognize and protect the right to interstate travel. The travel right entails privacy and free domestic movement without governmental abridgment. In his paper The Right To Travel And Privacy: Intersecting Fundamental Freedoms, 30 J. Marshall J. Info. Tech. & Privacy L. 639 (2014), Richard Sobel noted that the right to travel in the United States is basic to American liberty. The right precedes the creation of the United States and appears in the Articles of Confederation.

The paper went on to explain how the imposition of official photo identification for travel, watchlist prescreening programs, and invasive airport scans and searches unreasonably burden the right to travel and undermine citizens’ rights to travel and to privacy.