Supreme Court Declines to Consider Whether Nude Body Scanners Deserve a Trial

I unfortunately just received news that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear my appeal. My case against the body scanners was tossed by a U.S. District Court, and then appealed in and affirmed by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, under a law that the TSA interprets to mean, “Anything we write down cannot be fought in a trial court” — you know, the kind of court with a jury, discovery, witnesses, etc. — and must instead be fought in the U.S. Court of Appeals.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that the fight is not over, it simply must be continued without that jury, and with discovery and witnesses allowed to me at the discretion of the 11th Circuit (instead of by right, as a reasonable reader of the Constitution might assume that we had). I will have my 11th Circuit filing completed within the next 30 days. If you’d like to donate to this expensive effort, click the Donate button at the top right of the page.

I’ve heard from thousands of you over the last 2 years now. Thank you so much for the support, and let’s continue this fight together!


55 thoughts on “Supreme Court Declines to Consider Whether Nude Body Scanners Deserve a Trial

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  1. I just saw this. What a sad, sad day for the Constitution.

    The 11th circuit can then continue to dismiss your case then, if any continuation is at its discretion?

    1. Unlike the Supreme Court, the 11th Circuit doesn’t have the luxury of not hearing my case, but how much of a fair hearing I get is now at their discretion rather than given to me as-of-right.

      1. I think you will have a better chance with the Supreme Court after you deal with the 11th Circuit. The Supreme Court will generally only get involved when one has worked their way through the proper channels. I do not feel you were rejected because of the issues involved, but rather because you have not exhausted (or even used) all of your options.

      2. It seems clear from the statute that a challenge to a TSA order may be filed only in a federal Court of Appeals. Are you planning to file anew at the Court of Appeals?

    2. WE SUPPORT YOU. (no pun intended) Launched in 2010, Flying Pasties single-handily created an industry
      of airport freedom products. Featured on TruTV, The Today Show, Wendy Williams, Fox News and CNN. NOW FEATURING THE COCK BLOCK FOR GROPING!

  2. Keep fighting the good fight, sir.
    In the meantime, I’ll do what I can, opting for the feel-up every time I fly, and going in and out through security as many times as possible to smoke.

  3. You should start a fundraiser at or similar. They seem to be very effective ways of raising funds for specific projects.

    1. I’m considering it. I typically get by PayPal sufficient funds to do the legal filings, but if there’s more that can be done, I could work on that. Perhaps advertising the National Opt-Out Week sponsored by InfoWars or something like that.

  4. Hang in there Jon. Keep fighting! There are definitely brighter days ahead for us all, when are Constitutional rights are restored to us.

  5. I just donated another $100. I hope everyone here does the same. As I e-mailed with my donation:

    It’s this type of individual resistance that you and other people are mounting that can and WILL change the current, shameful system that’s been imposed on all of us. Personal responsibility is the only way to fight egregious abuses of power by the state. That’s the only thing that’s ever made a difference. If everyone took a stand, the corrupt system would fall. Instantaneously.

  6. Fundraising: have you looked into kickstarter? It has a pretty big audience — the next step up is gonna be expensive! Thank you for following this through; this is the type thing that we can all work together on – you fronting the time/effort, us supporting you. It will be chipping away at the machine in many places that finally brings it down! Let’s hurry before our phone conversations are taped, our email is tapped, our police are all dressed like SWAT teams to work against Occupy peaceful protests!

    1. Millions of phone conversations are already surveilled and archived, as are e-mails- only FAR more e-mails are scrutinized, since archiving them is even easier than it is with voice traffic. As for your last point, police everywhere are working tirelessly to make that one come true!

      “Let’s hurry before our phone conversations are taped, our email is tapped, our police are all dressed like SWAT teams to work against Occupy peaceful protests!”

  7. Did the Supreme Court state why they rejected it? And who does have the authority to hear these cases?

    Either way, keep fighting the good fight, Mr. Corbett. We’re all behind you.

  8. OH – forgot to say – for the females out there who refuse to go through the back scatter: I’ve found that wearing a dress avoids the silly hands-down-my-pants procedure – the agents are not sure what to do with a dress since they so rarely see one. Well worth the effort = ) I’d love to see a tri-fold brochure on-line that we could download, print and pass out in the security lines that give images off the x-ray machines, and information about the rarity of the TSA finding anything, the study done at Berkeley about x-ray dangers, the different scientists that are warning people not to use them, the countries that refuse to humiliate their citizens… I think Israel has this one right – a simple SNIFFING dog at the gate…. how much safer, saner and CHEAPER is that. I’d trust a German Shepherd ANY DAY over a TSA agent.

    1. I’d be careful wearing a dress — eventually you’ll find the TSA screener who puts their hands all the way up. You can google for stories by Amy Alkin and Susie Castillo who describe that one.

    2. Brochures have existed for over a year. We Won’t Fly members were giving them out at airports in 2010.

      Unfortunately, they don’t sway a lot of people. One person I know says, “Welll, it’s not THAT bad…”

      You can lead sheep to information but that doesn’t mean they’ll digest it.

    3. Then they may just take you in the back and have you take everything off. As a few very elderly ladies have found out.

    4. I wore a long dress one time through security, and TSA opted to FEEL ME UP “because” of the dress…they put their hands between my legs “through” the outside of the dress, and went up to my crotch. I’m personally, SICK of being molested by TSA.

  9. If they were gonna run their hands up under, being a bit of an activist, I’d fold the skirt into my waistband and let everyone check it out. I was actually interested to see how a grope in a dress turned out, but Amy Alkon’s blog mentioned she was wearing pants and S. Castillo doesn’t say what she was wearing – just they ran their hands up 4 times. I thought they changed the rules for Muslims so they could wear hajib and not be felt up?

  10. have you written your congress man/woman and both senators ? send the letter fed ex and post your plea for help as a citizen and voter for their help.on your blog.

  11. Gee, on thinking this over, maybe it’s better this way. Given the dead fish state of mind of most of the citizenry, perhaps it’s better that these same dead fish would not be your jurors.

  12. This is non-sense!!! There is no violation to your rights which is why no court will hear the case. It is your CHOICE to fly. If you don’t want to go through TSA scanners, then don’t fly, simple as that. If you want to enjoy the benefits of airtravel then you must comply with the regulations, if you don’t like the regulations then choose one of the many other forms of transportation.

      1. Apples to Oranges. Being subjected to lower standards when utilizing public facilities because of the color of your skin has absolutely nothing in common with abiding by TSA regulations. Airlines are private corporations and you are well within your right to choose not to fly on them. Your rebuttal is a complete failure on all levels.

        1. When you or the TSA can prove to me that their tactics are both SAFE and actually catch the many many terrorists around me when I travel (moreso than the check methods at the Israeli airports and European airports that don’t use the heavy handed TSA procedures) THEN I’ll worry about traveling otherwise. People that say oh if you don’t like it, go some other way are just being argumentative. I cannot get back to see my parents once a month on the bus when it’s a 3.5hr flight. What I can do is continue to work to get the TSA throttled down before they are at every bus station, airport, football game, now coming to the movie theaters near you. I guarantee you, the Prez is not letting his two daughters go through a scanner to be seen naked by TSA. Neither are my congressmen/women. They fly private jet. And BTW Kyle, Rosa Parks may have been in the middle of a black rights cause, but people like that are for HUMAN rights. You are throwing away your liberty for something you don’t even understand the machinations of (TSA – their growth, methodology, safety etc). And if you do? Put your pregnant wife through the x-ray and good luck. Put yourself through and hope your privates are still working in 10 years. Hope you don’t have skin cancers popping up. And BTW, if you think it’s OK for any government to approve groping people’s genitals (ie the enhanced pat-down), I would worry about you joining the police department next.

    1. You mean, if someone doesn’t approve of the TSA’s fascist behavior- performed without accountability and with impunity- they are not permitted to fly and must choose another form of transportation? Such as bus? Or train? Or highway?

      Well, in fact, your argument missed the bus, since the TSA currently patrols many bus and train stations across America, as well as the nation’s highways. And some sporting events. And some school dances. Many more venues to follow, I’m sure…

      Clearly, if one does not approve of the TSA, they must be confined to their homes. For eternity. It’s a “choice” one has to make. Right?

      This is precisely the same type of ridiculous, specious “argument” (it doesn’t even deserve that moniker) that was made by NAZI party members in the 1930’s *before* widespread subjugation of the Jewish people. Or South Africans defending certain conduct and behavior *before* it became Apartheid. The key word here is “before”.

      If you now feel like repeating your “Apples to Oranges” rebuttal, both state proponents under Germany and South Africa clearly said that they were defending their national security. In some cases, they presented evidence that their security was under threat. Occasionally that evidence was even valid! But did that, in any way, justify their actions? Or the almost unlimited horrors that followed?

      I won’t convince you, dear fascist traitor, since you’ve already sold out your mind to fear and the very nonsense that you accuse others of spewing forth. My comment here was to demonstrate the absolute absurdity of your defense of a morally bankrupt and lawless system. A system that you help perpetuate. Thank you for that.


    2. They are already at many bus and train stations. They have even stopped individual vehicles in Tenn. so what next WALK?

  13. After a whole-hearted laugh at sloth and jill’s comments, the only thing i can say is Seig Heil Nazi Comrades. See you in the Ghettos and hopefully you didn’t fly.

    This argument is no longer worth my time or energy.

  14. Undoubtedly, the Supreme Court knows its a violation of our constitutional rights and the only way they can get away with defending the illegal act is to simply to block the issue from reaching their benches.

    Perhaps, the issue should be taken to the world court and also file an issue with the world court against the Supreme Court it self.

    Its the poetic thing to do for justice sake.

  15. Please do not give up on this fight. Exhaust all non-violent means. Please boycott ALL air travel. Hit THEM in the pockets and maybe the tune will change. We ALL have to stick together on this.

  16. The Fourth Amendment really apply to this? It was adopted as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which is a type of general search warrant, in the American Revolution.” The writ of assistance is a written order that a court issues, instructing a law enforcement official, such as a sheriff, to perform a certain task. Back then, it was used to enforce an order for the possession of lands, so to me there is no comparison.
    While I don’t agree with the use of body scanners, I don’t disagree with them either. I know that they’re there to discourage terrorists, and attempt to protect me, a frequent flier, from another 9/11 incident. Is is a perfect system? No, and unfortunately that means (temporarily) giving up some of our rights at times, but the constitution may have been written differently if our forefathers could have envisioned the world of today.

    1. Betty, giving up your rights for even a moment is a fool’s game. The government has you scared of something that is less likely to hurt you than the furniture in your own home, and as a result you are willing to throw away the rights that we’ve spent 250 years fighting for.

      What’s more scary than terrorists, Betty, is living in a country where our freedoms have slowly but surely disappeared. I truly don’t understand how if one were to draw a line as to what they would and would not accept their government to do to them “for their safety,” how that line would ever be drawn on the far side of “taking nude pictures of you, exposing you to radiation, and touching your genitals in order to travel.”

    2. Betty, the TSA does not even have a “writ of assistance” to abuse. They have nothing. No warrant. No suspicion. No published rulemaking. Nothing. The 4th Amendment is very clear. The words are very plain. Please help me understand how what the TSA is doing is not violating the actual words, let alone the spirit, of that text. You have actually read the 4th Amendment, right?

      “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”.

      I think we can all agree that being dosed with radiation and/or having my personal privates touched in order to get on a plane, train, bus or into a sports arena is an unreasonable search.

      I think we can all agree that the TSA seizing things that clearly have no threat to a plane (cupcake, anyone? How about a nailclipper?)is an unreasonable seizure.

      The TSA is not a law enforcement agency therefore they have not the ability to issue, let alone enforce, a warrant.

      Assuming we are all terrorists unless we prove otherwise is not probable cause, let alone a reason to justify a warrant.

      Finally, no TSA searches have ever even been done with a warrant, which is required but the 4th Amendment when officials need to do a search or seizure.

      Our entire body and all our belongings are searched, without a warrant, without cause, without detailing the specific places, persons or things that are to be seized.

      In fact, these behaviors are the very definition of “writ of assistance” abuse, the very thing you say the 4th Amendment was meant to address in the 18th century. If you dont think so, please explain how these are not an abuse of power. Or that the government is not assuming we are guilty until proven innocent. Amazing how the old becomes new again, isnt it?

      If this were America in the 18th Century there would be special words to describe you: Loyalist. Tory.

      But since this is the 21st Century, I’ll use a more modern term: Statist.

    3. Betty, just as an FYI, the Writs of Assistance were also used to ensure that all colonists were following the stamp act, and allowed any soldier to enter any home, and search their papers to ensure that they were. So, needless to say, Writs were not just used for lands, but for whatever the British soldier darn well wanted to search for, whenever they wanted, and this is why we have the 4th amendment. For a little summary see here:

  17. Betty – if by unfortunately giving up our rights to walk through an airport without having our genitals touched, well yes, that is unfortunate. Where are the terrorists? And WHICH have the TSA caught before or after the enhanced x-ray and pat-downs? Each one has been caught NOT by TSA tactics, but by passengers and/or airline personnel. At what point do you simply take your statistical chance and get into your car OH whoops, I mean get onto an airline, and figure chances are about as slim to get blown up as ummm getting into a car wreck and dying. They foment terror. They want us to give up our liberties so “they” can protect us. But it is a price we are willing to pay? I’m not. And way at the bottom of the conversation is…. WHY do we have Terrorists to begin with? If we were not policing and bullying the world, dropping bombs on people, telling them how to formulate their government, putting military bases in their lands, sending drones over their countries without permission…. don’t you think the amount of TERROR would drop? I do. I see it as “us” constantly keeping a bullyish stance in the world which causes people to want to do us harm and then conveniently, after spending a bundle on military, they can now spend another bundle ‘protecting’ us and at the same time, getting the masses to give up their independence and freedom of thought. This is not about terrorists; if it was, they’d quit creating them! It’s about slowly but surely pushing American people into feeling OK with…. well having strangers cup your genitals. Slide their fingers under my bra. Put their hands down my Grandmothers pants. Feel up the legs of my 7yr old daughter. Check out the x-ray of my naked 15yr old daughter and 13yr old son. It is unacceptable. And when it comes to all means of mass, long-distance transportation, which it inconveniently is, at a cost of billions increase to the TSA budget EVERY YEAR (when we cannot afford it obviously)…. that is the point: that we have NO CHOICE but to submit, be bullied, shamed, and cowed into submission.

  18. PS: while you dance through the x-ray, without a worry to the testing/efficacy of such a machine, run by TSA agents, NOT technicians… without concern about someone checking out your breast enhancements or amt of pubic hair you possess… and then merrily board the plane feeling you are ‘safe’ – you might first watch the bloggers vid re: getting metal THROUGH the x-ray machines. You’ll get a better, subjective viewpoint that the x-ray machines are not qualified to keep you safe. But they do get you to do the ballerina dance. It’s right here on this site – go to the top of the page and watch that. And then do some research on the health safety of the x-ray machines themselves. The original ‘is it safe’ testing. The ongoing ;is it working right’ testing!

    Those machines just sit there running all day and who calibrates them/makes sure they are not running hot? When was the last time you went to a Dr’s office for an x-ray and felt any concern that the machine was being taken care of by the receptionist? x-rays are not inherently safe – that’s why dentists continue to cover you with a LEAD blanket. I know they are a different x-ray technique, however, the testing done on the backscatter was based upon tests done on a typical x-ray machine which penetrates many more layers of tissue. The backscatter puts the entire blast onto your skin and bounces off. Don’t come crying to me when you frequent fliers end up with malignant skin cancers in a few years. Just because they say it’s safe (like cigarettes), doesn’t mean they won’t eventually be proven unsafe. Take your chances.

    Statistics prove prescription drugs are 16,400% more deadly than terrorists. Vioxx, born 1999, R.I.P. 2004. Deaths: 60,000 worldwide. Yes, and they said it was safe. It is… until it kills you. 9/11 killed 3000. Terror is everywhere, but I doubt it is as pervasive on our airlines as they want us to fear.

    All I’m suggesting is not to take the ‘safety’ of the airport x-rays at face value, even if you do want to get patted down instead to save yourself from terrorists as you board.

  19. My heart sunk when I heard your appeal was declined. Please continue with your fight for all our sake. I will be sending more funds today to help keep you fighting for what is right.

  20. NJ- Secret observers find ‘shocking’ lapses in Newark airport security, report says.

    Screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport are properly executing standard pat-downs of passengers only 16.7 percent of the time and they identify and take appropriate action on prohibited items in only a quarter of all cases, according to a secret internal report.

    The revelations are contained in a document, obtained by The Star-Ledger, titled “PACE Airport Evaluation” and dated June 8. It was compiled by an undercover team of Transportation Security Administration employees from other airports who were asked to observe screeners at work at Newark Liberty.

    PACE is an acronym for Presence, Advisements, Communication and Execution, the four job performance headings that included a total of 47 individual procedures or skills observed by the visiting evaluation teams.

    To some TSA watchdogs, such poor performance on standard procedures was startling coming a decade after the TSA was formed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

    Thomas McDonnell, a Pace Law School professor and author of “The United States, International Law and the Struggle against Terrorism,” said the findings are unacceptable.

    “There’s that often-repeated phrase, ‘We’ve got to get it right all the time,’ ” said McDonnell. “When it’s under 50 percent, under 20 percent, that to me is very shocking.”

    A finding of the evaluation that was particularly shocking to McDonnell and other civil rights advocates was that in no cases — 0 percent — did screeners properly inform passengers of their right to opt out of a full-body scan in favor of a pat-down.

    “As a civil libertarian, I am very concerned that people are not being advised what their rights are,” said John F. Banzhaf III, a professor of public interest law at George Washington Law School.

    “There are certainly anecdotal reports, in addition to this, that people who elected not to go through the scanner and have elected the pat-down have been patted down much more aggressively.”
    Read more:

  21. Yours was the same response as Jesse Ventura received which prompted him to announce at a press conference later that day, “I’ve lost my patriotism. I’ll never fly commercial airlines again.”

  22. Question: exactly WHICH scanners, are the “nude body scanners?” I have walked through the ones that just look like a doorway, then there’s the one that you have to hold your arms up in, and it scans “around you”…is that the one? I have opted out (in the beginning,) and made them MAD…to the point that one of them told me when I was going to have to be patted down, to “enjoy!” I was soooooo ticked, I went straight to the head of the TSA agents there, and complained and told him he needed to STOP that garbage in those people right away, if he didn’t want to news out there going after them. If I hadn’t of been “in a hurry” like MOST people trying to catch a flight…there would have been MORE done about it.
    I have also had two occasions, of pat downs that were WAY over the top and over done, to the point that I felt that I might as well had been naked, b/c they totally felt everything I had. RIDICULOUS. I’m personally, SICK of it.

    1. Anything where you hold your arms up is a nude scanner. The simple doorways are just metal detectors. The nude scanners come in two varieties–millimeter wave which is basically radar and backscatter which is a low power x-ray and as such it should be illegal. Even with the TSA numbers had they used backscatter machines on everyone since 9/11 it would result in more deaths than 9/11 did.

  23. TSA Removes X-Ray Body Scanners From Major Airports.

    The Transportation Security Administration has been quietly removing its X-ray body scanners from major airports over the last few weeks and replacing them with machines that radiation experts believe are safer.

    The TSA says it made the decision not because of safety concerns but to speed up checkpoints at busier airports. It means, though, that far fewer passengers will be exposed to radiation because the X-ray scanners are being moved to smaller airports.

    The backscatters, as the X-ray scanners are known, were swapped out at Boston Logan International Airport in early October. Similar replacements have occurred at Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O’Hare, Orlando and John F. Kennedy in New York, the TSA confirmed Thursday.

    The X-ray scanners have faced a barrage of criticism since the TSA began rolling them out nationwide after the failed underwear bombing on Christmas Day 2009. One reason is that they emit a small dose of ionizing radiation, which at higher levels has been linked to cancer.

    In addition, privacy advocates decried that the machines produce images, albeit heavily blurred, of passengers’ naked bodies. Each image must be reviewed by a TSA officer, slowing security lines.

    The replacement machines, known as millimeter-wave scanners, rely on low-energy radio waves similar to those used in cell phones. The machines detect potential threats automatically and quickly using a computer program. They display a generic cartoon image of a person’s body, mitigating privacy concerns.

    “They’re not all being replaced,” TSA spokesman David Castelveter said. “It’s being done strategically. We are replacing some of the older equipment and taking them to smaller airports. That will be done over a period of time.”

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