Aaron Tobey wins battle in lawsuit against the TSA

by Lisa Simeone on January 27, 2013


Aaron Tobey, the 1st and 4th Amendment hero who got arrested for speech — silent speech, as you can see in the photograph — has won his lawsuit a battle in his lawsuit against the TSA.

Those of you who remember Aaron Tobey know that he was unlawfully detained by the TSA at Richmond International Airport in 2010 because when he declined to go through the scanner and opted for a pat-down, he stripped down to his skivvies, thus showing that he had nothing to hide.

But as we know, it’s not about whether you have something to hide. The so-called security process is about compelling obedience. About putting you in your place. The fact that Tobey had the — gasp! — 4th Amendment written on his chest made the blue-shirted wonders even more angry.

Remember, the TSA isn’t law enforcement and has no law enforcement authority — they’re required to call the police if they get their knickers in a twist. Aaron Tobey was detained, in handcuffs, for 90 minutes. And “interrogated”:

the authorities wanted to know “about his affiliation with, or knowledge of, any terrorist organizations, if he had been asked to do what he did by any third party, and what his intentions and goals were.”

That’s right — because obviously anybody who goes around quoting that seditious document, the U.S. Constitution, clearly has some terroristy intent.

The Richmond-area prosecutor wisely dropped all charges against Tobey back when this incident happened. But Tobey, god bless him, didn’t stop there. He brought suit against the TSA claiming his civil liberties were violated and sought $250,000 in damages and legal fees.

 “[I]t is crystal clear,” the court wrote, “that the First Amendment protects peaceful nondisruptive speech in an airport, and that such speech cannot be suppressed solely because the government disagrees with it.”

Though Tobey won his suit has won this phase of his battle, he still has to overcome more hurdles before the lawsuit is completed. One judge dissented in the recent decision; read his rejection of civil liberties here.

Here are more people who’ve tried to fight the TSA, in various ways, and who’ve both won and lost.

Bravo, Aaron Tobey! Another hero in the mold of John Brennan. And bravo to John Whitehead and the lawyers of the Rutherford Institute, who helped Tobey in his case. No word yet from the Rutherford Institute on what Tobey’s next step is.

(Photo: our tax dollars)

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