It’s been a crazy 2 years. I never really imagined myself as a civil rights advocate, but on November 16th, 2010, I found myself sitting in a South Beach bar unable to enjoy my evening because I was so disturbed by what had just occurred in our airports. I sat there thinking long and hard about how unbelievable it was that our government was now asking to photograph us naked if we wanted to enter an airport, and I eventually came to this poetic conclusion: “Fuck this shit!” I left my mostly-full drink on the bar and returned to my office at about 2 AM, and didn’t stop writing until the sun was brightly shining through my window. I made the 7 mile trek to the courthouse with my new documents on rollerblades across the Venetian Causeway, which is beautiful on a sunny day, in about 25 minutes. The friendly U.S. Marshalls for sure still know me as “the guy with the rollerblades.”
I’ve since had some crazy experiences (Getting kicked out of airports? Presenting my work to Congress? Seeing my name on Drudge Report?) and met some amazing people, who have encouraged and supported me to this 2 year anniversary. Our fight moves slowly, but I’m ready to keep going, thanks to you all!
Today, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, along with the Department of Homeland Security, will be opening packages with a brand new petition asking for judicial review of the TSA’s nude body scanner and genital inspection programs. This petition is the first to be filed in a Court of Appeals that squarely addresses the constitutionality of the body scanners, and will seek an immediate stay of the order. I’m excited that the merits of my case may finally be addressed! Documents are linked below.
Also, great news: the TSA has removed 91 scanners from active use, put into a notorous graveyard for expensive taxpayer-funded gadgets that the TSA refers to as a “storage room” in Texas. This storage room is the same place where the “puffer machines” of 2006 rotted until they were thrown out. My prediction is that these machines will never scan another person. It’s a great step forward!