Protester Allowed To Sue Airport Screeners
September 1, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia college student who stripped to a pair of running shorts to protest intrusive search procedures will be allowed to sue two airport screeners.
A Federal judge in Richmond, Va., ruled Tuesday that the portion of Aaron Tobey’s lawsuit dealing with free speech rights can go forward, The Christian Science Monitor reported.
Tobey was arrested at Richmond International Airport in December 2010 after stripping down to reveal a portion of the 4th Amendment written in black marker on his chest.
It read: “The right of the people to be secure … against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.”
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson opens the way for further investigation by Tobey’s lawyers into why security screeners called the police when Tobey removed most of his clothing.
The lawsuit charges security officials had Tobey arrested in response to his protest and not because he failed to follow instructions.
His attorneys say he has a right to peacefully object to the government’s treatment of airline passengers provided his actions are not disruptive.