TSA: We Can Detain You (…and other false statements)
July 9, 2012 13 Comments
I just filed my opposition to the TSA’s motion to dismiss my lawsuit for illegally detaining me in FLL airport. The TSA’s motion, as to be expected, was full of contradictions, failures at logic, and other absurdities. For example, in order to avoid liability under a statute that creates a cause of action against “any officer of the United States who is empowered by law to execute searches,” they argued that TSA screeners are not empowered to execute searches. (My response was substantially: “Great! Then I can ignore them when I see them in the airport, right?”)
But perhaps what stood out the most was their assertion that they constitutionally detained me. They freely admit that screeners are not law enforcement and have no power of arrest, but at the same time argue it was totally cool for them to hold me — because it was brief.
Either one has powers of arrest or one does not. It doesn’t become “ok” simply because you do it briefly. Once again, the TSA has asked the court to carve out a new exception to the law to allow for its thuggery. Here’s to hoping that U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard gives them the bench-slap that they deserve.