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TSA Discovers “You Have Boobs” Exception To Fourth Amendment

A woman in California  is suing the TSA over what can only be described as an incredibly invasive search:

A woman suing the TSA for an invasive pat-down at the Albuquerque Sunport speaks only with KOB Eyewitness News 4.

Adrienne Durso of Carlsbad, California spoke over the phone – she describes her experience during a TSA pat-down at the Sunport back in August.

“Heavily concentrating on my breast area where I told her I had a mastectomy the year previous and in just seemed to go on and on,” said Durso.

She says she felt humiliated as the extensive pat-down happened in front of her 17 year old son and hundreds of other travelers.

“I felt as though I didn’t have any rights other than I had to stand there and let them do what they want to do to my body,” Durso continued.

She says she knew her rights had been violated so she asked to speak to a supervisor who she thought would help.

All the while her son stood by her side and couldn’t remain silent anymore

“My son, who I’m very proud of spoke up and said ‘I went through the metal detector and I did not get a pat-down’ to which the supervisor said ‘well you don’t have boobs’,” she said.

It may have been the TSA gate agent’s attempt at humor, but it didn’t go over well:

That statement was the last straw for Durso – so she contacted the lawfirm of Drinker, Biddle and Reath. Her attorney, Alex Brodsky, says this whole ordeal violates her 4th Amendment rights which protects Americans from unreasonable search and seizure.

“We think that these searches given the invasiveness and given the extensiveness of these searches are really more akin to something like a strip search and certainly as a result we think we have a strong case,” said Brodsky.

Durso says she isn’t doing this for money or fame but rather for countless other Americans who take to the skies for travel.

Good for her, and hardly the kind of press the TSA needs going into the holiday travel season.

H/T: Hot Air

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    I can’t believe this kind of shit still has its sympathizers.

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  2. James Joyner says:

    Well, big enough boobs do have penumbras.

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  3. legion says:

    Hey man – they’re just profiling! That’s what they’re supposed to do, right?

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  4. Andrew Morris says:

    Thank you for speaking out, Adrienne. Flying is only “optional” for those of us who don’t need to travel to earn a living, or can live without visiting friends and family members who are several states away. Keep your hands off of our innocent and private bodies.

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  5. Linda says:

    TSA patted down the Indian Ambassador in Mississippi, supposedly because she was wearing a sari. She was with a diplomatic entourage.

    Donna D’errico, former Baywatch babe, claims she was singled out for a body scan, out of a group of passengers waiting to board a plane.

    We are all aware of previous overstepping by the TSA. Perhaps a lawsuit is just what the TSA needs, because so far, nothing else has stopped them.

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  6. StJohnsWort says:

    How intrusive, inhumane and inappropriate. Kudos to this brave woman for not taking what none of us deserve.

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  7. John Burgess says:

    @Linda: And when I, as a US diplomat, while traveling with the US Ambassador, in India, was constantly patted down and felt-up every time I wanted to board an Air India flight? Or when the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia had his suitcases emptied, in public view, at JFK? Overstepping or just security?

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  8. Mike says:

    If you touched a TSA agent the way they touch you, you’d be arrested. They either need a medical degree or a lesson on the fourth amendment.

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  9. Linda says:

    John,

    Did you have a diplomatic entourage with you? The Indian Ambassador had her entourage, as well as people from the Mississippi Governor’s office, with her.

    If the Ambassador to Saudi Arabia had his suitcase emptied in public view (there’s a difference between emptying, as in removing all the contents, and rifling through the contents), then yes, I feel that the TSA did overstep. Since you don’t seem to have a problem with TSA copping a feel, I don’t know how to answer in your case.

    I do feel that the Government reacts after the fact, and it’s not likely the terrorists will try something that’s already been tried and caught.

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  10. Does this not beg for an “equal protection” lawsuit? Should women who have been groped file suit to make the TSA prove that it does not disproportionately fondle pat down women at a higher rate than men? And if it does, can it prove that women, as a class, represent a greater threat to airliners that justify disproportionately higher numbers of women being “patted down” than men?

    One of you lawyer types respond whether there is any merit here. Seems to me, non-lawyer that I am, to be a claim in waiting.

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  11. Tano says:

    I find it hilarious how all the rightwingers start running to the lawyers to file “I was offended” lawsuits when it serves their political agendas, after railing against such things for decades when others do it.

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  12. Joe says:

    There is no violation of the 4th Ammendment. You can choose not to fly. Once you walk through the door you know there is a chance you can be searched. If you don’t like it, then drive.

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  13. Jaz says:

    What we choose to do has no bearing on the 4th amendment, by your logic we should choose not to leave your house so we don’t run the risk of being searched by the police on the way to the store in violation of the amendment.

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  14. Gin says:

    Good for her. If she wins it will help people everywhere.

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  15. Gin says:

    @Joe, if you drive a car they can’t pull you over unless they have “reasonable suspicion.” For traffic violations or smoking what might be a joint in the car for instance. Even though police might be accused of stopping more cars in particular areas more frequently or racially profiling, they at least have to have a nominal reason/just cause to stop a car and search it.

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  16. [...] TSA: Hypocrites Here, Hypocrites There, Hypocrites High and Low.. TSA Discovers “You Have Boobs” Exception To Fourth Amendment… [...]

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  17. [...] one of the most notable instances of a woman being punished for her body, a passenger was told that she was searched because she “had boobs.” This after she had struggled with breast [...]

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  18. Tim says:

    What bothers me most about this whole issue is just how corrupt the TSA has become under john pistole, when I first learned that the scanners were proposed by former head of the TSA michael chertoff who became a investor in a company that stands to make millions if those scanners are placed at every airport,railroad station and sporting event in the united states, then john pistole comes along and gives americans a choice of using the scanners which will put more money into the pockets of investors or submit to being molested or allowing your kids to be viewed naked, chertoff should be put in jail with pistole as his cell mate.

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  19. Luke says:

    @Joe
    You can choose not to fly what happens when they say you can choose not to leave your house or you can choose not to go on any public property. Do we only have the right not to be molested in certain locations. I think we should release those priests from jail who molested kids because they when entering the church waived their right not to be molested!

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