Court: TSA Immune from Assault, Abuse Claims


A federal appeals court this week ruled Transporation Safety Administration agents at airport security checkpoints are immune from claims of assault, false arrests and other abuses.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said TSA screeners are not "investigative or law enforcement officers," and are therefore shielded from liability under federal law.

John Tyner, who is credited with launching the "Don't Touch My Junk" movement in 2010, says he agrees with the decision.

“Don't get me wrong, I think the TSA is terrible, but I think the court actually got this decision right and Congress kind of screwed the pooch,” says Tyner.

One judge wrote it is "squarely in the realm" of Congress to expand liability for abuses.

“They sort of have law enforcement authority, they can search your stuff and refer you to the police, but if you'll notice TSA doesn't generally detain people or arrest them, they just immediately call in the police who are standing right nearby,” says Tyner.

Tyner says he wishes Congress addressed those concerns when he and others protested nearly a decade ago.

“They really haven't and it's been kind of disheartening for me to see people just kind of fall in line and go along with what the TSA seems to be able to get away with.”

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