The TSA Likes It Both Ways

If you’ve been following for a while, you know that my first filing for court review of the TSA’s nude body scanner and genital molestation program was booted for being filed “in the wrong court” (if by “wrong” they mean “in the court that would give me the best opportunity to challenge the TSA’s unconstitutional behavior”). In order to convince the courts to dismiss my case and the several others like it, it had to assure the courts that the other court — the US Court of Appeals — actually would have jurisdiction. This was a problem, since filing in that court has a statutory time limit of 60 days absent “reasonable grounds” for delay.

So, when another plaintiff, who filed virtually the exact same complaint as I did (in large part word-for-word ;)) pointed this out to the judge in their case, the government argued that the “reasonable grounds” clause would clearly cover such a case, and the court need not worry about it:


Months later, here we are in that Court of Appeals that the TSA insisted on. And, of course, now the TSA argues that reasonable grounds don’t actually apply:


Just another fine example of the Department of Justice’s “Win At All Costs, Fuck Justice” attitude. Luckily, courts are not keen on hypocrites and arguing one thing in front of one court and the opposite in another is barred by the doctrine of judicial estoppel. …in theory, at least. Ruling in favor of the TSA here would mean that “scope & grope” would never be able to be reviewed by any court, ever, which is equivalent to placing the Constitution in the fireplace. Let’s see how the court handles this one!

8 thoughts on “The TSA Likes It Both Ways

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  1. This is pure garbage, but altogether completely expected from an organization as fascist, corrupt, and contemptuous of the law, as the TSA is.

    Keep on fighting!

    Estoppel is one of the oldest legal concepts there is. It precedes the Constitution by several centuries. If a judge were to rule against you on the basis that estoppel is invalid, then that person should be immediately removed from the bench, lose their license to practice law, and be banned from rejoining the bar for at least a decade.

    1. I remember that case when it happened. Absolutely astounding. I don’t know how a law enforcement officer could screw that up so badly — strip search before even articulating a crime?!

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