The US Department of Justice made its first filing in my case today, in opposition to my motion for a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction, attached here for any who would like to review.  While nothing within was terribly surprising, a couple of points were interesting:

  •  The DoJ implicitly affirms that they understand that we all have a constitutional right to travel.  However, they proceed to state that there “is no constitutional right to travel by a specific mode of transportation; Plaintiff has the option of traveling by car, bus, or train,” essentially putting it down in writing that the government’s position is, “Don’t like it?  Take the train.”  It goes without saying, but naturally this doesn’t work to overseas destinations (or even the 50th US state), and makes business travel impossible.  The train on my most frequently flown route (NY to Miami) takes about 30 hours — it’s not simply an inconvenience, but impractical.  …and we all know that the trains are next on the TSA’s list, as are buses, and soon enough, the highways.
     
  • In order to get a temporary restraining order, one must show that it is unlikely that the other party will be harmed (or if they are, less so that the potential harm to me by not issuing the order).  To that end, part of my request for the temporary restraining order was a declaration that I’m not a terrorist, have no criminal record, and have no intention of blowing up a plane.  The DoJ’s response: A “would-be terrorist would make the same assurances.”  I’ll be sure to ask them if they have any examples of would-be terrorists going to court to petition for their constitutional rights, or perhaps they just assume that anyone opposed to being molested in the name of security may deserve suspicion of being a terrorist.

Next step is a reply from me, and the judge may rule at any time.  I’m confident that the government’s opposition is without merit and will be rejected by the Court — stay tuned!

–Jon

Defendant’s Opposition to TRO/PI (.pdf)