Lawsuit Phil Mocek

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by RB, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    A less than brilliant judge (appears to be lacking a few marbles) has dismissed the federal defendants in Phil Mocek's suit ...

    ABQ Journal: Judge Dismisses Defendants in Passenger’s Suit (Jan 22 2013)

    In a 125-page opinion filed last week, U.S. District Judge James O. Browning dismissed the federal defendants from the lawsuit, and included language helpful to the city’s defense.


    Browning’s opinion said the federal officers are entitled to dismissal because Mocek had not shown First Amendment violations when they ordered him to stop filming. The officers would be entitled to qualified immunity, anyway, Browning said, because the “alleged right to gather news at an airport screening checkpoint and to record police activity in public are not clearly established.”

    The court found the TSA officers did not violate clearly established law when they called in city aviation police, because the action was taken after Mocek would not comply with the order to stop filming.

    "alleged right to ... record police activity in public are not clearly established": Did this judge just crawl out from under a rock? Phil's attorney intends to appeal, which pushes this case up to the level where case law is made. This case now has the potential to become a major first amendment case. If the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers New Mexico) affirms the district judge's order, it will be at odds with other circuits (e.g. the 1st Circuit for Massachusetts and the 7th Circuit for Illinois), which will make it a prime candidate for Supreme Court consideration. The Supreme Court already declined to hear an appeal of the Illinois ruling; if the 10 Circuit doesn't adopt the stance of the 1st & 7th Circuits, the odds are good that the Supreme Court will take it up.
  2. jtodd

    jtodd Original Member

    On the face, this decision by the judge appears to be a bad omen. Was this the decision that Phil and his legal representation were hoping would come about just so it could be raised to a higher court?
    KrazyKat likes this.
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I doubt they were planning on dealing with a judge this stupid and out of touch with reality, but now that it's happened, we should all view it as a potential opportunity, depending on how the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on it.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  5. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

  6. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    The NM ruling is probably not worth the paper its written on.

    The ACLU should be all over this since it goes directly to the 1st Amendment and would be a slam dunk for their lawyers in the Circuit Court.
    KrazyKat likes this.
  7. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    Did the judge write this or did Homeland Security?
    Fisher1949 and Elizabeth Conley like this.

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