“Bend over, spread those ass cheeks and have a nice day”

(Reuters) – Fliers may have a tough time recovering damages for invasive screenings at U.S. airport security checkpoints, after a federal appeals court on Wednesday said screeners are immune from claims under a federal law governing assaults, false arrests and other abuses.

In a 2-1 vote, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners are shielded by government sovereign immunity from liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act because they do not function as “investigative or law enforcement officers.”

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8 Responses to “Bend over, spread those ass cheeks and have a nice day”

  1. Aesop says:

    So if they’re not investigating anything, what authority do they have to conduct a search of persons or belongings? Federal law now says “None, whatsoever.”
    In declaring them not law enforcement officers, the 3rd Circus has cleared the way for passengers to ignore their requests, on the grounds that the federal court has denied them any jurisdiction over private citizens.

    Thanks, guys. Now I have federal legal precedent to tell you to go self-fornicate.

    They can’t have it both ways, and the court has cut off their balls on this one. Unless SCOTUS takes up a case in next year’s session, this is now settled law until further notice.
    And they can’t walk this one back unless SCOTUS intervenes, which they won’t unless another Circuit rules the other way on this. (Once you have two or more dueling circuits at opposite conclusions, getting the case heard in SCOTUS becomes a near-certainty.)

    The TSA are “just a bunch of guys, with no legal authority to enforce anything on anyone, nor to investigate anything anywhere, at any time.”


    I love it when the federal government outsmarts itself.

  2. FriscoKid says:

    Does “government sovereign immunity” also shield against gravity or lead poisoning?

  3. Unclezip says:

    Well, they already know better than to come across me while they are off duty and in uniform. I ain’t the nice guy I’m portrayed in the movies.

  4. grayjohn says:

    Hit them where it hurts. Stop flying.

Play nice.