|In formal attire, obviously.|
(Philthadelphia) 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.”
Pure legal geniuses, right there.
So if they're not investigating anything, and not acting as law enforcement officers, what authority do they have to conduct a search of persons or belongings? Federal law now says "None, whatsoever."
And who am I, or who is any mere TSA flunkie, to argue with or contradict the considered jurisprudence of two sitting federal appellate judges? I ask you.
IANAL, but in declaring the TSA "not investigative or 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 legal or law enforcement 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, in shielding the merry band of incompetents from any shred of civil tort liability, has now cut the TSA's enforcement balls off in this case. That's going to leave a mark, albeit a tiny one, given the size of the appendage in question.
Unless SCOTUS takes up this or a similar 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 now, by federal ruling, "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. Dogberry lives!
You have to wonder if the parents of those judges in the 3rd Circuit had any children who lived.
But hey, black-robed @$$-clowns of the 3rd Circus Court: thanks for making the 9th Circus Court out here in Califrutopia look sane, rational, and circumspect by comparison!
And I quote the oft-stated opinion of WeaponsMan:
"No one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at the TSA in any capacity whatsoever."