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Professional Troublemaker

 Jonathan Corbett, Civil Rights Advocate

Month

March 2011

No Temporary Restraining Order

The US District Judge on my case today adopted the magistrate’s recommendation and denied my request for temporary relief, in a one-page order.  Interestingly, the judge has not yet ruled on the motion to dismiss, which I almost expected would happen before the ruling on the TRO (if you’re planning on dismissing the case, there’s no point in responding to other motions).

This is definitely a setback for us, and means that the DoJ will try to drag this case out for as long as possible.  However, the motion to dismiss is the real thing to watch, and will almost certainly be appealed whether it is granted or denied.  I will keep you all updated.

Briefed: Blitz, Redfern, and Corbett

Today, Jonathan Blitz filed his reply to the government’s motion to dismiss in his case, so we now have 3 cases in US district courts ready to rumble on the issue of jurisdiction.  

Corbett v. US, 10-CV-24106, SDFL 11/16/2010 (11th Cir.)
Redfern v. Napolitano, 10-CV-12048, MAD 11/29/2010 (1st Cir.)
Blitz v. Napolitano, 10-CV-930, MDNC, 12/03/2010 (4th Cir.)

Blitz is a brilliant guy, and I’ve attached his public filing here, as it’s a great read.  The next cases to get to this point will be in the DC and CO (10th Cir.), and I’ll update everyone as the public filings are made. 🙂

–Jon

Blitz Opposition to Motion to Dismiss (.pdf)

Objection to R&R Filed

I filed my objection the the R&R today (see the previous post). This filing is my opportunity to convince the district judge that the recommendation issued by her magistrate judge was, well, poor, short-sighted, lacking in thoroughness, and overstepping its bounds.

This is the first time I’ve ever written an objection to an R&R, and it puts the author in a precarious position. On one hand, if I don’t strongly and clearly object, the R&R will be adopted and I’ll lose my motion. On the other hand, the magistrate is an officer of the court just as the district judge is, and for all I know they’re best friends, so any criticism must be delivered as respectfully and tactfully as possible.

The TSA has until Friday to file their own objection, which I don’t really expect them to do. After that, the district judge may rule at any time, so we’re looking at as early as Monday, but more likely several weeks from now.

Corbett v. US – Objection to R&R (.pdf)

The objection lists 5 exhibits which are not in the document. They are:

A – http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/miami-airport-tsa-officer-charged-assault-manhood-jokes/story?id=10583691
B – http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-safety-security/1157130-tattoos-visible-body-scanner.html  (post #3)
C – http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-03-04-bodyscans04_ST_N.htm
D – http://www.wbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=14142489
E – http://www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?S=13407686

Magistrate Recommends Against Us

A bit of a setback, unfortunately, but not a final decision. The district judge in my case requested her magistrate judge (sort of like an assistant judge who often does some of the legwork before the big event) give what’s known as a “Report and Recommendation” regarding my motion for a temporary restraining order. This is basically asking the magistrate for his opinion on whether or not the motion should be granted.

It seems that this magistrate judge ignored entirely all of my arguments on jurisdiction and (surprise, surprise) assumed all of the “facts” stated by the TSA are true. The one-sidedness of the R&R is astounding, as generally arguments are discussed and “shot down” by a disagreeing judge, rather than simply ignored. This, again, goes to show why a jury trial is necessary: a jury will require the TSA to prove their case, rather than assume it. [Note: it’s unclear if the magistrate judge took into account my last filing, which was opposition to the TSA’s motion to dismiss.]

R&R attached. My response, if I would like to file one (and I would ;)), is due within 10 days. I still have hope that the district judge will examine the facts and law much more carefully.

Corbett v. US – Magistrate’s Report and Recommendation on Motion for TRO (.pdf)

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