Rutherford Institute files second suit over TSA procedures

The Daily Progress

The Rutherford Institute has filed a lawsuit on behalf of three airport passengers subjected to new, enhanced security screenings.

The lawsuit, filed this week against Transportation Security Administration administrator John S. Pistole and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, claims violation of the passengers’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches.

In a previously filed lawsuit, the Albemarle-based nonprofit also represents two pilots who were told to undertake aggressive searches or leave the airport.

Many airports are conducting full-body scans — aimed at detecting explosives and other dangerous items hidden on people’s bodies — that produce unclothed images of passengers. Travelers can opt out of the scans in favor of enhanced pat-downs from TSA workers.

The plaintiffs in the most recently submitted lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, are among hundreds of airport passengers who have written to the Rutherford Institute contending they were violated.

The plaintiffs include the mother of a 12-year-old girl who was forced to undergo a “virtual strip search” without parental consent; a man with an enlarged testicle due to a youth injury, who was subjected to an invasive pat-down of his genitals by TSA workers; and a woman who had undergone a mastectomy on her left breast, who was left in pain after prodded repeatedly, according to the lawsuit.

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