Eleventh Circuit Orders Oral Arguments in Case Against Scanners

I received a call just now from a pleasant sounding woman in the clerk’s office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She informed me that oral arguments have been scheduled for June 4th, 2014, at 10:00 PM in the court’s Miami building for my case against the TSA’s nude body scanners and invasive pat-downs.

What does this mean?

Oral arguments are discretionary and not given as a general rule. The fact that they granted them means that they are taking the case seriously and have questions they would like to ask. This is a good thing — it means they have decided not to simply brush my case aside. Both parties will have an additional chance to speak beyond the written briefs, which is decidedly advantageous to me because many of the government’s arguments are difficult to make with a straight face. It’s one thing to talk around the issues when you have weeks to figure out how to phrase things; it’s another when you have a panel of federal judges asking tough questions in person.

The only downside is this means we will have no ruling until, likely, at least July. So, for now, continue to opt out of those scans!

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30 thoughts on “Eleventh Circuit Orders Oral Arguments in Case Against Scanners

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  1. Kudos. I flew out of Ft. Lauderdale yesterday and the security theater lines were so filled I almost missed my flight. I came out of millmeter wave scanner and TSA screener insisted on giving me me a complete pat down. Why?, I was wearing a a school hoodie in anticipation of being very far north. The oral arguments cannot begin soon enough and are very promising.

  2. On a flight from Atlanta in October, when my family of four told the TSA we were opting out of the scan, the agent became extremely upset. She then made us wait as a group, and insisted that all of our luggage go through the scanner before any of us could be searched. After the luggage went through the scanner she then directed somebody on the other side to take all our luggage and carry it out of our view. When I objected, she said “that’s what you get for asking for special treatment”. Incidentally, the waiting lines were virtually nonexistent, and many agents standing around could have handled the individual pat downs. I asked for a supervisor, and the same woman said “I AM the supervisor.”

    I asked another agent if they could please get our luggage and bring it over to where we were going to be inspected, and the first agent interrupted and said “If you talk to him again I will have you arrested for obstruction.” Nevertheless, I continued to ask for a supervisor, and to request other TSA employees to move our luggage within view. Other employees would not even acknowledge my question.

    After about 15 minutes, someone was available to pat us down, although why nobody could have patted us down in the intervening time is unclear. There were plenty of people standing around.

    I filed a complaint with the TSA and have heard nothing.

  3. Great job Jon! Sounds promising, but unfortunately I’m not that optimistic. First, re: “the government’s arguments are difficult to make with a straight face” – don’t forget that you are dealing with professional liars and plain dumb people who really believe that they protect the world from terrorists and aliens.
    Second, what will prevent the government from pulling the “classified” card every time they face an inconvenient question?
    Sorry for being so pesimistic. I REALLY hope I’m wrong.

  4. The 4th Amendment is part of the Bill of RIGHTS. and therefore is a Specific Fundamental RIGHT granted to us. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches”

    I do not see any exemptions for this RIGHT, not even national emergencies or Wartime are they exemptions…There are NO exceptions for newly-invented “Administrative Searches” or “national security” either. 4A does NOT allow the Govt. to conduct ‘reasonable’ searches. The 4A goes on to discuss ‘REASONABLE’ search or seizure—a judicial ‘Warrant’ based upon probable cause, supported by Oath/affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. If a ‘reasonable’ 4A search could legally be conducted without a warrant/probable-cause/specifics … then there would be absolutely no need at all for the second part of the 4A.

    There is NO way Possible that TSA searches are ‘Reasonable’ or ‘Legal’ under 4A.

    Even the Stopping and Directing of the passengers to go thru the metal detectors constitues a Seizure and Detainment even though ever so brief, it is Ilegal without Probable cause. Any search of person/baggage/property is likewise totally prohibited.

    Coercing a supposed ‘voluntary consent’ to illegal search/seizure {by threat of denied boarding to passengers) is a separate crime in itself. Freedom of movement & travel are a most basic civil liberty, guaranteed by 5th, 9th and 10th Amendments.

    “The right to travel is a part of the liberty of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment.”
    Kent v. Dulles, 357 US 116, 125.

    “The right to travel is a well-established common right that does not owe its existence to the federal government. It is recognized by the courts as a natural right.” Schactman v. Dulles 96 App DC 287, 225 F2d 938, at 941.

    “The state cannot diminish rights of the people.”
    Hertado v. California, 110 US 516

    “Statutes that violate the plain and obvious principles of common right and common reason are null and void.”
    Bennett v. Boggs, 1 Baldw 60 U.S. Supreme Court


    “There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of this exercise of constitutional rights.”
    Sherer v. Cullen, 481 F 946.

    “The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.”
    Miller v. US, 230 F 486, at 489.


    Here is a great Quote by Justice Tolman of the Supreme Court of the State of Washington

    “Personal liberty — or the right to enjoyment of life and liberty — is one of the fundamental or natural rights, which has been protected by its inclusion as a guarantee in the various constitutions, which is not derived from nor dependent on the U.S. Constitution. … It is one of the most sacred and valuable rights [remember the words of Justice Tolman, supra.] as sacred as the right to private property … and is regarded as inalienable.”
    16 C.J.S. Const. Law, Sect.202, Pg. 987



    Specific rules regarding battery vary among different jurisdictions, but some elements remain constant across jurisdictions. Battery generally requires that:

    1. an offensive touch or contact is made upon the victim, instigated by the actor; and
    2. the actor intends or knows that his action will cause the offensive touching.

    Sexual battery may be defined as non-consensual touching of the intimate parts of another.

    Ask for a Airport Police Officer and ask them to arrest the TSA Screener on Sexual Battery Charges if you did not give consent to them touching of your genitals…..Make sure you tell them prior to the Pat down a proper pat-search could be performed without touching my genitals or anal areas and that I did not consent to be touched on either area.” . If they touch either during the pat down have them arrested.

  5. P.S. Let me know when specifically this comes together I would love to come to the court to watch the proceedings from Oklahoma

    1. it says customs claims it was because they were agricultural products…technically they are correct, but technically so are clothes made from cotton and hemp or other natural ingredients…so whats next they start burning our clothes….urgh !!!

        1. One of the points if possible to slip in if possible is: The TSA had a bill passed to make it a federal crime for anyone to include the press, to prove their system is a failure and wasteful. For any system to hide with legal protection from failure is scary. For that legal protection to be granted to a security network is beyond abusive and harmful to trust and the very security they pretent to provide. A system should not hide from exposed failure but to meet and fix and exceed the security failures exposed by press and citizens. TSA molest children, harms the very trust and fabric of American culture, and is the greatest success of Al Queda and harm caused by 9/11 or since.

          1. Tony,
            I’ve never heard of this bill. Do you have a reference for it? It seems unlikely that the TSA could legislate against people discussing flaws in the system.

          2. It is in the revised fas bill. Will have section for you by monday. Your local
            News media will know of it as they were all forwarded a copy when it happen a few years ago after a particularly bad news expose story. Part that makes it illegal to fake weapons or bombs is actually an add on and not in the original bill

  6. TSA News Blog:

    TSA News is an independent blog that covers the Transportation Security Administration.

    It was created by journalist and consumer advocate Christopher Elliott. Fellow journalist Lisa Simeone writes for and edits the blog. Posts are also written by a group of contributors that includes a statistical analyst and a mathematician. Those contributors are (or have been): Bill Fisher, Sommer Gentry, Amy Alkon, Wendy Thomson, Deborah Newell Tornello, Phil Weber, Ari Ofsevit, Deborah Pierce, Charlie Leocha, Richard Walbaum, Karen Cummings, and Jeremy Thompson.

    TSA News Blog is not associated with the TSA.

    We are dedicated to writing about the agency with fairness and accuracy, employing logic, risk assessment, statistical analysis, and empirical evidence (also sarcasm and humor!).

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