Sunday, February 6, 2011

Governor to TSA: Don't Search "The Body"

Airline pilots and certain members of Congress are exempt from airport whole body imaging and pat-down searches.  But, what about state governors?

James G. Janos—better known as former Minnesota Governor, WWF wrestler, and  U.S. Navy Veteran, Jesse "The Body" Ventura—recently sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration in a federal district court in Minnesota, airing the same type of complaint that many citizens are making these days: the government's aviation security programs are a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The Governor underwent hip replacement surgery in 2008 and has a titanium implant.  Consequently, he is apt to set off a walk-through metal detector ("WTMD") at security checkpoints in commercial airports, subjecting him to non-invasive magnetic hand-wand inspection. Usually, airline passengers who set off the magnetometer or opt out of a whole body imaging scan are subjected to additional screening. 

While traveling in November last year to air his television show Conspiracy Theory, however, Ventura claims the "TSA did not give him the option of submitting to less intrusive security measures such as use of a magnetic hand wand, nor was he given the option of a 'trust traveler' medical or other exemption from the [whole body imaging] or pat-down body search procedures."

His lawsuit seeks declaratory relief and an injunction against the TSA as to his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, including "warrantless and suspicionless [whole body imaging] and pat-down searches."  He also seeks his attorney's fees and costs.

Don't rule the Governor out.  In 1987, a federal jury agreed that he was misled into waiving his royalty rights for wrestling videotape sales and awarded him $801,333 for fraud, misappropriation of publicity rights, and restitution.  (See Ventura v. Titan Sports, Inc., 65 F.3d 725 (8th Cir. 1995)).

No comments:

Post a Comment