On Monday, Jesse Ventura filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for violating the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Under the new TSA security protocols, prospective airline passengers who are designated for “enhanced” screening, for instance, after setting off walk-through metal detectors, must submit to a whole body imaging scan or a full-body pat-down search. Because Ventura has a titanium hip implant which sets off metal detectors, he is forced to undergo the enhanced security procedure every time he boards an airplane, which is frequently required for his work as a “television performer,” as stated in the lawsuit.
Ventura’s lawsuit amounts to a full frontal assault on the DHS/TSA’s “enhanced security protocols.” Essentially, the suit argues, since passengers are not free to leave the airport security area or decline to take their scheduled flights to avoid any additional screening, the enhanced protocols amount to an unconstitutional search and seizure. “Absent reasonable grounds for suspicion,” the suit states, “[whole body imaging] scans and pat-down body searches are unwarranted and unreasonable intrusions on Governor Ventura’s personal privacy and dignity and his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.”
It goes on to argue that whole body imaging scans are tantamount to a “warrantless, non-suspicion-based” strip search, which is “demeaning and degrading” and meets the definition of “unlawful video voyeurism.” The lawsuit objects to full-body pat-downs on similar grounds, stating that they “include warrantless, non-suspicion-based offensive touching, gripping and rubbing of the genital and other sensitive areas of the body,” which meets the definition of “unlawful sexual assault.”
Were it not for the fact that so many Democratic and Republican lawmakers have shown so little interest in addressing these ritual humiliations of American citizens by agents of the state, such a lawsuit would not be necessary. As the suit states, “Governor Ventura has no other adequate and speedy remedy at law.” See this article for the full text of the lawsuit.
Though Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota under the banner of the Reform Party, in recent years he has become an outspoken advocate of independent politics and an opponent of party politics as such. In October of last year, Ventura told USA Today, “I do not support the third party movement anymore,” adding, “I now advocate the abolishment of all political parties. We've allowed the parties to take over the government.” Ironically, however, third party advocates are among Ventura’s staunchest allies in opposing the TSA’s invasive security procedures . . .
From this week's column at CAIVN: