A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed most of the constitutional claims raised by a Charlottesville man who was arrested after stripping down to his running shorts during an airport checkpoint protest…

False imprisonment and malicious prosecution claims against three Richmond International Airport police officers were not included in the motions for dismissal.

Aaron Tobey, 21, was detained at an airport security checkpoint on Dec. 30 after partially disrobing to display part of the text of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment handwritten on his chest. Tobey says he was protesting security measures, including enhanced pat-downs and the use of whole-body imaging scanners that he believes violate the Constitution’s protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

…Judge Henry E. Hudson also rejected the equal protection and search-and-seizure claims against the TSA screening officers who summoned police, but said it was premature to dismiss the free-speech claim…

Tobey, a University of Cincinnati student at the time of the arrest, staged the protest as he prepared to board a flight to Wisconsin to attend his grandfather’s funeral. Disorderly conduct charges were later dropped by the Henrico County prosecutor.

Lettering surely ain’t bad – if he did it himself. Decent hand-and-eye coordination.




  1. noname says:

    # 60 bobbo, the law is what happens whether you like it or not

    Darn, I guess I am going to have to agree with you.

  2. chris says:

    #60

    “noname didn’t say it was different and he didn’t say he agreed or disagreed. Saying he is fine and patriotic is close, but goes to a different issue.

    Different issues need to be kept separate”

    I really want to know if noname thinks civil disobedience should be handled consistently or not. To hold a protest in a lot of places you need a permit, and if you interfere with people going into a business you WILL get arrested.

    I think that minor sanctions are important for disruptive protests.

    My suspicion is that most of our right-leaning friends are solely operating on the framework of:

    business = perfect
    state government = bad
    federal government = evil

    I want to get at whether a ‘good’ protester is one whose views you agree with or does everybody get an A+ for exercising their speech rights?

    The perfect current case on the other side is the Tar Sands pipeline protest. This is a call the Obama admin can make directly. If they decide against it will be decent sized blow to big industry. Are those protesters also patriots?

    I’m not a conformist, but I think it’s good for costs to balance. If you want to be a public asshole for a cause in a disruptive way then you ought to get dinged.

    I think the TEA folks have a lot of blindspots like the Obama folks. There’s an element of magical thinking to both groups. All problems will disappear if gov’t goes away, or if our guy flashes a particularly winning smile.

    It just doesn’t hold up in the real world.

  3. noname says:

    # 62 chris said,

    “I really want to know if noname thinks civil disobedience should be handled consistently or not.”

    Noname thinks yes, each case should be handled consistently in a social society that allows political decent as part of the political discourse (doesn’t setup fenced in protest zones, doesn’t release attack dogs, doesn’t call in the armed militia, doesn’t call in tanks or fire bomb protesters, doesn’t use fire hoses, doesn’t walk into and provoke in-your face confrontation under the guise of authority, doesn’t body slam or pile drive someone not resisting arrest, does not inflicting pain in roid raged anger………).

    If police could act as properly thinking humans, instead of frustrated druggies then yes, I think there is a place for police involvement. There is also a place for courts to hear, evaluate and render judgement based on a full unbiased disclosure of facts free from a prosecutor zealous for a win at all cost and abuse of power.

    Except, more so today, this rarely happens. Police take steroids to bulk up to intimidate and harm with impunity. Courts play their politics of fear and don’t allow a full and fair hearing of the defendants, instead cave into republican terror and pressure.

    We are a democracy, we are a republic. We have a system of electing our representatives that depends on a free and open press and the freedom to protest.

    Except, we don’t have a free and open press. We have a press that is a profit center that wants ratings, facts and truth be damned. And we don’t have freedoms anymore to protest, least you be deemed a terrorist or something!

    And to top it all off, we have a populous that wants to be entertained, ears tickled and too busy and afraid to get involved.

    Then out of this morass, we American’s have allowed ourselves to be caged in; we have this kid who is not as jaded as you are, # 62 chris. He has this simple idea, that our constitution means something, but only if someone stands up for it. He stands up for it!

    But you # 62 chris, seem to want to beat him down, albeit “humanely” with a heavy fine, but none the less, beat him down!

    I say, like many hear, enough, enough. Let him be heard and thankfully the Judge agrees.

    As an American(?) # 62 chris, you should too, be thankful this kid can protest and stand up where you would just sit down!

  4. LibertyLover says:

    #63, Amen.

  5. Glenn E. says:

    Did anyone else notice that he got the “4” backwards? I guess that one is hard to remember which way it faces, in reverse, while looking in a mirror. He probably practiced on getting the letters right, and forgot about the numbers. It he had written “Fourth” above “Amendment”, there would have been no problem. But this might have shown above his shirt collar. So he kept it all well below that.

  6. chris says:

    From thread pull quote:

    “staged the protest as he prepared to board a flight to Wisconsin to attend his grandfather’s funeral. ”

    #63 I’m just saying maybe your stirring words are misplaced in this case. I don’t think that the idea of protesting is any more noble than the idea of policing, or the other way around.

    People working together can actually change things. Take, for example, the yearly Rolling Thunder events around Memorial Day. Hundreds of thousands of people together to pay tribute to the sacrifice of others, and to say ‘we will not be ignored.’

    Vietnam was the war that everybody wanted to forget. They were just ignoring it for different reasons depending on politics.

    Rolling Thunder was emblematic of a generation’s move from counter-culture to mainstream. It also helped redefine bikers from outsiders to, often, patriotic symbols.

    (Just got Sons of Anarchy season 3, so that’s why it’s on my mind.)

    Even the regional/state groups are massive. They show up every year and it’s beautiful. It is about devotion and loss. Also a big party.

    It might not be fair to assume this guy should have that much content, but there are much more pointed individual protesters. Adam Kokesh and Cindy Sheehan come to mind from a few years ago. As for groups Wikileaks impresses me a lot.

    The nobility of protest is intrinsically related to the content of the protest. It is a symbolic act that requires an oppositional force.

    Legally I think they should be treated the same. A disruptive protester ought to be warned, then removed and fined. It also looks like the judge DID NOT agree with him. The dismissed charges were ones he filed against the cops.

    If you think getting booked and fined is similar to “fire hoses,” “body slam or pile drive,” or “call in tanks or fire bomb protesters” then I question your judgment.

  7. noname says:

    # 66 chris said,
    “People working together can actually change things.”

    Yes, very true, it’s always better to have people in agreement working together as equals. Allot can indeed be accomplished.

    But what does that have to do in this case?

    I get it; you don’t like the hassle a little disruptive democracy imposes on you.

    Then you compare individual protestor to your support group Rolling Thunder, who’s Mission statement is:
    The major function of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is to publicize POW-MIA issues: To educate the public that many American prisoners of war were left behind after all previous wars and to help correct the past and to protect future veterans from being left behind should they become prisoners of war-missing in action.

    Again what does this have to do with an individual standing up for a historic and universal right that’s being unjustly denied?

    Here too, I get it, you don’t like an individual citizen exercising their right constitutional right of protest (free speech,…).

    Then you note (# 66 chris said,): The nobility of protest is intrinsically related to the content of the protest. It is a symbolic act that requires an oppositional force.

    I would say given that we have fought wars for the words on parchment this kid is standing up for against an armed and publicly hostile and deadly group, the TSA.

    As for your closing comment (# 66 chris said,):

    “If you think getting booked and fined is similar to “fire hoses,” “body slam or pile drive,” or “call in tanks or fire bomb protesters” then I question your judgment.”

    No I don’t think they are the same, and as I noted (# 63 noname said,):

    “But you # 62 chris, seem to want to beat him down, albeit “humanely” with a heavy fine, but none the less, beat him down!”

  8. chris says:

    “I would say given that we have fought wars for the words on parchment this kid is standing up for against an armed and publicly hostile and deadly group, the TSA.”

    If the TSA was actually using deadly force on civilians I’d be out manning the barricades with you, but it just isn’t the case.

    As I say, a symbolic act has to actually show something. Let’s take people against the TSA specifically. There have been multiple cases of people sneaking banned items through security and publicizing that. They surely get in trouble too, but a point has been made.

    I did give other examples of individual protesters that you ignored. Kokesh, for example, was the ex-marine that started out disrupting congressional hearings during the Bush II admin. That dude has probably been arrested tens of times. How about Martin Sheen? He’s been arrested for civil disobedience probably a hundred times (many of those times while playing the President on the ‘West Wing’).

    I still don’t think there is anything more noble about protest than policing, other things being equal. They are really two sides of the same coin: seeking to protect the population. How it’s done is awfully important.

    The recent riots in England are a good example of protests without much content. I’d balance that against the police riot at ’68 Democratic Convention. The public or police can be in the wrong, depending on the situation.

    You keep repeating that I want to see the guy beaten, which isn’t even close to anything I’ve said.

    I want to know why you think that a disruptive protest should have NO consequences to the protester?

  9. noname says:

    # 68 chris said,

    I want to know why you think that a disruptive protest should have NO consequences to the protester?

    Please cite the example in my post where there should be “NO consequences”?

    You can’t, you poor deluded thinker!

    As I stated earlier: # 63 noname said,
    # 62 chris said,

    “I really want to know if noname thinks civil disobedience should be handled consistently or not.”

    Noname thinks yes, each case should be handled consistently in a social society that allows political decent….

    Another one of your delusions:

    # 68 chris said:
    You keep repeating that I want to see the guy beaten, which isn’t even close to anything I’ve said.

    What I said was, # 67 noname said::
    “But you # 62 chris, seem to want to beat him down, albeit “humanely” with a heavy fine, but none the less, beat him down!”

    You conveniently left out the “albeit humanely with a heavy fine”

    But hey, that’s ok, I expect that from those who share your radical thinking and beliefs!

    Basically chris, we will have to just agree to disagree. I don’t find what you are saying convincing and tending towards scary.

    I am just glad that our constitution and bill of rights was written by people distrustful of concentrated power, unchecked governmental authority and more trustful of the wisdom of the populous.

    They fought those words and for the wisdom of the populous in governance; a populous educated by engaging in the subject and conversations; not just deferring to authorities for all their thinking.

    That how you (# 68 chris) and me differ; I give more weight to a populous educated by earnest engagement in the subject and conversations and less deference to authorities and their so called guidance (more likely coercions).

    Remember, America was supposed to be a government for the people by the people and not the other way around.

    As one president (only one I know to state this), George W. Bush, stated numerously (claimed he joked); he’d prefer to be a dictator: “If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator,”.

    I bring up GWB, because we are having this conversation because of his policies and enactments. And, Yes Obama, dispite all his soaring rhetoric, has done little to none to check this.

    So I say again, least you forget

    Out of all this morass, we American’s have allowed ourselves to be caged in; we have this kid who is not as jaded as you are, # 62 chris. He has this simple idea, that our constitution means something, but only if someone stands up for it. He stands up for it!

    What I say is, good for him; because, it is good for our country that he is doing this! We grow stronger as a country when, as citizens we deal fair and honestly with political protest!

    What you propose # 68 chris, would weaken and eventually destroy our democracy. So, let us agree to disagree!

  10. LibertyLover says:

    #66, The nobility of protest is intrinsically related to the content of the protest.

    Who determines this level of nobility? Those who don’t agree with it or those who do?

    This why all citizens have the right to petition the government. If we left the decision to determine the level of nobility to those in power, we would never have any public display of opposition to anything they did.

    What is important to you may not bother me at all. But I still have to put up with your protests because it is your right to protest whatever you want.

  11. chris says:

    #69

    “Please cite the example in my post where there should be “NO consequences”

    It seemed to me that was what you were suggesting. If you think he should face a proportional penalty then we appear to be in agreement.

    Considering he spent a few hundred dollars on the plane ticket how much would you fine him?

    #70

    “Who determines this level of nobility? Those who don’t agree with it or those who do?”

    That is necessarily a personal judgment that ought not have an effect on the legal process. Kind of my central point, that the disruption and not the message is real story.

  12. LibertyLover says:

    #71, That is necessarily a personal judgment that ought not have an effect on the legal process

    Agreed, in principle but —

    Kind of my central point, that the disruption and not the message is real story.

    Again, who decides the level of disruption?

    IMO, an hour delay to spread the word on “this blatant violation of our freedom to associate” is well worth it. I paid for it with my time, therefore the government shouldn’t hit him up for anything.

    Perhaps we should have an impromptu vote when this happens — All in favor of fining this guy, raise your hand. All opposed. All abstentions.

    That would be true democracy.

    All protests come down to one thing — who benefits from suppressing it? If you can determine who is benefiting the most from shutting this guy up, you have your answer, because without the disruption the message may never be heard.

    Hint — the answer is not The People. Some of us WANT to hear it don’t consider it a disruption.

  13. noname says:

    # 71 chris said,

    “Who determines this level of nobility? Those who don’t agree with it or those who do?”

    “level of nobility” is not a legal concept. Obviously it’s something you feel strong about; and directs your attention; but alas, it is not a concept with universal bearing. Because it has no universal bearing, I will not address your question as it would only distract from what is relevant.

    I agree with 100% with your self assessment:
    “Kind of my central point, that the disruption and not the message is real story.”

    I fully understand it’s an added hassle, bother and at times a true social waste to deal with peoples objections, inconvenient interruptions and protests, political or not.

    Do I think people are right even half the time, hell no. I just think they still deserve a full, fair and just hearing with due fact finding diligence, which; is what I am advocating here. I fully understand there are lot a bad people out there. But if that jades and blinds our process and people to the truth; then we end up flipping our system on it’s head and we can only address all people as if they are convicted criminals. We then, have lost all that we have fought for and believe in this country.

  14. chris says:

    #73 “chris said,

    “Who determines this level of nobility? Those who don’t agree with it or those who do?””

    No, I didn’t say that. I was quoting LL in post #70. I responded to LL by saying:

    “That is necessarily a personal judgment that ought not have an effect on the legal process.”

    In #69 you said: “Please cite the example in my post where there should be “NO consequences”

    I see you wiggling away from it, but you’ve basically made my argument. And you strengthen the parallel in #73 with:

    “I just think they still deserve a full, fair and just hearing with due fact finding diligence”

    and

    “I fully understand it’s an added hassle, bother and at times a true social waste to deal with peoples objections, inconvenient interruptions and protests, political or not.”

    So, if the Hon. Judge noname were presiding at this guy’s hearing what would YOU consider to be a fair penalty?

  15. chris says:

    #72

    “IMO, an hour delay to spread the word on “this blatant violation of our freedom to associate” is well worth it. I paid for it with my time, therefore the government shouldn’t hit him up for anything.

    Perhaps we should have an impromptu vote when this happens — All in favor of fining this guy, raise your hand. All opposed. All abstentions.”

    An unplanned extra hour in an airport security line is going to cause an awful lot of people to miss their flights. Asking THAT crowd what to do with him is guaranteed to bring a worse punishment than he’d get under our current system.

    It also sounds suspiciously like how the Taliban operates. Be careful what you wish for.
    😉

  16. noname says:

    # 74 chris said,

    “So, if the Hon. Judge noname were presiding at this guy’s hearing what would YOU consider to be a fair penalty?”

    You might be surprised that I would agree with the facts in the case, and indeed
    find this Protester can proceed with lawsuit against the TSA. I may even find the TSA liable for gazillions of dollas. But alas, I get a head of my self.

  17. LibertyLover says:

    #75, It was more joke than serious.

    The point I was “trying” to make was that not everybody thinks this guy was wrong. I’d bet a shiny buffalo nickle the majority of people feel that way but are just too chickenshit to say it out loud like this guy did.

    If the majority of people don’t mind this kind of disruption, they should support him. There are only a couple of people on this board who thinks he should be fined or that he was a moran. Everybody else seems to support him.

    If we were to take that as a scientific sampling (I KNOW it’s not, though), I would say that the government is in the wrong here.

  18. SFJD says:

    He better be careful. If he speaks out against the TSA’s nonsense, the agent might sue for hurt feelings.


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