A First Amendment Victory Vs. The TSA!Submitted by Marc Clair on Wed, 07/17/2013 - 13:17
In this weeks edition of TSA Tuesdays we take a step outside the TSA’s comfort zone of the airport, and into the courtroom! Last week the TSA lost an appeal seeking to reject a ruling that they had violated the First Amendment rights of college student Aaaron Tobey when they called police and had him arrested and charged with disorderly for removing his shirt at a TSA checkpoint, underneath which he had written the 4th Amendment. The charges were later dropped, but the Rutherford Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of Tobey. From their report on the judge’s decision:
“For us to hold today that it is reasonable to cause an arrest due to bizarre behavior and nothing more would violate the most basic tenets of our Constitution,” noted the court.
Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead had this to say about the verdict:
“Whether it be construed as different, unusual or bizarre, non-disruptive expressive protest—which is what Aaron Tobey engaged in—is at the core of protected First Amendment speech,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Frankly, the nation would be better served if all government officials were required to undertake a training course on what it means to respect the constitutional rights of the citizenry.”
As a result of this ruling, TSA agents at Richmond International Airport, where the incident took place, are now required to take a two-hour training course on the First and Fourth Amendment conducted by the Rutherford Institute.