TSA Threatens to Commit Judicial Suicide

TSA decides to go full mafioso on the guy who, uh, did what they told him to do.

First of all, if they really had the authority to do this, they never would have worried about it.  Here’s a thought experiment.  Suppose a police officer (you know, a real law enforcement officer) decides to, with legal authority, give you a pat down.  A real patdown involves more than just brushing the genitals.  It involves a full on groping, by necessity.

Tell that cop, “if you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested for sexual assault.”  What is that cop going to do?  He’s going to say, “tell it to the judge” and then he’s going to do his pat down anyways.  Why?  Because he actually has authority.  The TSA balked.  You know why?  They know they don’t have the authority to do this.

In any event, there is no way that the TSA will actually sue him.  So far, their statute (the ATSA) is still on the books is because the courts won’t give anyone standing to challenge it.  It’s the same story as the Obama/Birth Certificate stuff.  It’s never been ruled on in court because no one has standing.  If the TSA names him as a defendant, they are admitting that he has standing, and he can challenge it all the way to SCOTUS if they will grant cert.

Even if they don’t, they will have to bring the suit in Federal court, under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  The FRCP are fairly unforgiving to government agents when it comes to discovery, and the TSA has no desire to expose themselves to that sort of sunlight.

In short, they are holding a press conference because to file a lawsuit would be political and judicial suicide.

By the way, in a quick perusal of the act, I don’t see a severability clause.  So it may be that if any part of the act is struck down, the TSA ceases to exist as an entity.  Fun!


  1. If it does get to the Supreme Court, will be interesting to see how the ruling in Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding effects this case.

  2. R says:

    Hmmm, interesting update.

  3. […] I wonder how long it will be before distributing unapproved information in line will be cause for ejection and a $10,000 fine? […]