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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Jesse Ventura Can’t Fight Airport Screening Rules

(CN) - A federal judge dismissed former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's lawsuit alleging that enhanced screening measures at airports amount to a constitutional violation for nondangerous frequent fliers like him with titanium hip implants.

Ventura claimed that the hip implant he received in 2008 ensures that he will be subject to pat-downs and whole-body imaging whenever he travels, though he poses no threat to airline safety. His lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration claims that the security policies violate the Fourth Amendment proscription against unreasonable search and seizure.

The former governor and professional wrestler, who now hosts "Conspiracy Theory" on cable's TruTV, sought an injunction to prevent further violations of his constitutional rights.

But U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson in Minneapolis dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction last week, noting that U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal alone may review the orders TSA promulgates.

"This is not the first challenge to TSA's enhanced airport screening procedures," she wrote. "In every other case, the court has determined that it lacks jurisdiction to hear such challenges."

Ventura had claimed that TSA's new policies do not constitute an order, but Nelson disagreed. "As Governor Ventura alleges, he has been subjected to enhanced screening pursuant to the Standard Operating Procedure, and he will not be allowed to board an airplane unless he complies with enhanced screening," she wrote. "An agency disposition is 'final' and thus reviewable as an order ... when that disposition 'mark[s] the consummation of the agency's decisionmaking process' and 'determine[s] rights or obligations or give[s] rise to legal consequences."

Ventura also claimed unsuccessfully that the court could "entertain constitutional challenges to the Standard Operating Procedure because 49 U.S.C. 46110 does not specifically foreclose district-court review of such challenges."

Nelson pointed out, however, that "he points to no authority for this argument ... and the court has found none. Rather, courts uniformly hold that all challenges to TSA orders, policies and procedures must be brought in the Circuit Court of Appeals."

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