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Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Strip Search Machine Case

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Strip Search Machine Case

Old Oct 1, 12, 4:34 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
What evidence? If evidence related to the nudi scope then that is correct - it should not have been heard. If evidence related to why he should be able to file in FL rather than in DC that is a different matter.

Issue is one of jurisdiction not of the merits of his complaint. Corbett wanted it in the 11th Circuit Court so that the case could be heard by a jury. Corbett evens says that:

Thats the bad news. The good news is that the fight is not over. It simply must be continued without that jury, and with discovery and witnesses allowed to me at the discretion of the 11th Circuit.


Corbett will refile in DC and continue his fight.
I think perhaps there was some confusion over the role of an appellate court when they have original, as opposed to appellate, jurisdiction. Typically, in the case where they are serving as an appellate court, the only evidence they will consider is evidence as to the lower court's error. However in the case where they have original jurisdiction, they will hear evidence of the issue, though it sounds like it will be handled differently than if presented to a lower court with original jurisdiction (such as no jury).
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Old Oct 1, 12, 4:37 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by Upgraded! View Post
I think perhaps there was some confusion over the role of an appellate court when they have original, as opposed to appellate, jurisdiction. Typically, in the case where they are serving as an appellate court, the only evidence they will consider is evidence as to the lower court's error. However in the case where they have original jurisdiction, they will hear evidence of the issue, though it sounds like it will be handled differently than if presented to a lower court with original jurisdiction (such as no jury).
I would agree ... having cases go directly to an appellate court is odd to me but that is what Congress did. But what do I know I as stayed at a Motel 6 last night and left the light on.
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Old Oct 1, 12, 4:50 pm
  #18  
 
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From the article linked in the OP:
Federal courts in Florida refused to hear his lawsuit, saying it could only be filed with the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta upheld the dismissal, and the Supreme Court refused to reopen the case.
So yes, the only thing this ruling settled was the proper venue for the lawsuit.

My question for Jon is: Why did you decide to appeal this all the way up, instead of just filing in the proper jurisdiction? I understand the desire to get this in front of a jury, but from a purely technical stance, was this a legally correct decision?
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Old Oct 1, 12, 5:22 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by janetdoe View Post
From the article linked in the OP:


So yes, the only thing this ruling settled was the proper venue for the lawsuit.

My question for Jon is: Why did you decide to appeal this all the way up, instead of just filing in the proper jurisdiction? I understand the desire to get this in front of a jury, but from a purely technical stance, was this a legally correct decision?
A publicity stunt can be a legally correct decision.

As he believes this is a matter of constitutionality of action, his assumption that a lower federal court is a court of first instance is understandable.
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Old Oct 1, 12, 6:14 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Upgraded! View Post
So my understanding of your post above is that the appellate courts were not saying "we don't want to hear a case about TSA's use of AIT," rather they were saying "we will not require the lower courts to hear this case and uphold their decision that this is out of their jurisdiction"?

If my reading is correct then my understanding is that they were not so much saying "we don't want to hear the case about the machines," rather "we do not want to hear a case about whether the lower courts must hear a case about the machines" and it could very well be that once the case is refiled they will hear the actual case at hand, despite refusing to hear the case about who must hear the actual case at hand?
The problem is that there is no new evidence in an appeals court. Thus it's going to be very hard for him to make a case there. This basically starts the TSA on the 99 yard line.
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Old Oct 1, 12, 7:06 pm
  #21  
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IANAL, but have been following this. In its ruling denying Jon's appeal the 11th circuit noted that it could "under 28 U.S.C. 2347, we may: (1) remand a proceeding to an agency to hold a hearing where one is required by law, (2) transfer certain cases to a district court, or (3) order an agency to take additional evidence and
counterevidence." The TSA filed a motion trying to get the court to argue that it was not allowed to transfer the case back to district court, but this was denied. So it wasn't a complete slam dunk in the 11th for the TSA. Full ruling is here:

http://tsaoutofourpants.files.wordpr...s-affirmed.pdf

Note that the judge in his lawsuit against FLL/Broward County and the TSA has requested documentation that would normally only be required to proceed with a trial (and this is in district court). There's a post on his blog here: http://tsaoutofourpants.wordpress.co...corbett-v-tsa/
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Old Oct 1, 12, 7:43 pm
  #22  
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Here is my understanding, hope this clears some things up:

Normally, you file a case in US district court, which is a trial court, meaning it can hear evidence, examine it (with a jury if necessary) and rule on the FACTS of the case. Higher courts, including the circuit courts of appeals and the supreme court, are appellate courts, meaning they do not hear evidence or conduct trials. All they do is look over the decision and make sure the LAW was applied correctly to the facts.

Congress has decided that certain federal agencies can have their own administrative hearings. If you wish to challenge an act of one of those agencies, you do it before their administrative tribunal, not before a federal district court. The decision of the agency is then taken as a final determination of the facts, so if you want to appeal it it goes straight into the circuit court of appeals.

In this case, the plaintiff was keen on an actual trial where he could engage in discovery (which would force the TSA to release information) and present evidence to a jury showing what is going on. Instead, the supreme court agreed with the circuit court's opinion that the district court has no jurisdiction, so the plaintiff must go directly to the circuit court of appeals, which cannot conduct a trial or hear evidence, and is bound to accept the TSA's determination of the facts. The circuit court of appeals can, however, rule on points of law as they pertain to the facts presented.

In other words, the district court could have said "TSA, show us your safety studies" or "TSA, hand over your passenger data". The appeals court, however, can only say "this is constitutional" or "this is unconstitutional".
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Old Oct 2, 12, 6:18 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
A publicity stunt can be a legally correct decision.

As he believes this is a matter of constitutionality of action, his assumption that a lower federal court is a court of first instance is understandable.
As a publicity stunt, I wonder if this is having the desired effect. To someone who knows how the legal system works, it appears to be just another instance of a case being initiated in the wrong court. But in the minds of the general public, this ultimate non-decision can be easily misinterpreted as meaning that the fight is lost, that SCOTUS doesn't care about civil rights, and that the TSA can do as it pleases.
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Old Oct 2, 12, 7:59 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by cbn42 View Post
Here is my understanding, hope this clears some things up:

Normally, you file a case in US district court, which is a trial court, meaning it can hear evidence, examine it (with a jury if necessary) and rule on the FACTS of the case. Higher courts, including the circuit courts of appeals and the supreme court, are appellate courts, meaning they do not hear evidence or conduct trials. All they do is look over the decision and make sure the LAW was applied correctly to the facts.

Congress has decided that certain federal agencies can have their own administrative hearings. If you wish to challenge an act of one of those agencies, you do it before their administrative tribunal, not before a federal district court. The decision of the agency is then taken as a final determination of the facts, so if you want to appeal it it goes straight into the circuit court of appeals.

In this case, the plaintiff was keen on an actual trial where he could engage in discovery (which would force the TSA to release information) and present evidence to a jury showing what is going on. Instead, the supreme court agreed with the circuit court's opinion that the district court has no jurisdiction, so the plaintiff must go directly to the circuit court of appeals, which cannot conduct a trial or hear evidence, and is bound to accept the TSA's determination of the facts. The circuit court of appeals can, however, rule on points of law as they pertain to the facts presented.

In other words, the district court could have said "TSA, show us your safety studies" or "TSA, hand over your passenger data". The appeals court, however, can only say "this is constitutional" or "this is unconstitutional".

Again, I don't think that's completely accurate, but perhaps one of our resident attorneys can clarify. Appellate courts do hear evidence when they have original jurisdiction, which it sounds like they do in this case. There are even times when the US Supreme Court has original jurisdiction, such as in a dispute between two states (I think there are one or two others but I don't recall at this time).

My understanding is that the rules of discovery are somewhat different and that there is no jury, but there are still opportunities to present evidence of fact, as opposed to just matters of law.
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Old Oct 2, 12, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
I would agree ... having cases go directly to an appellate court is odd to me but that is what Congress did. But what do I know I as stayed at a Motel 6 last night and left the light on.
I'd be more inclined to believe you if you'd stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night @:-).
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Old Oct 2, 12, 3:37 pm
  #26  
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Hi All,

Corbett here. RichardKenner had it right:

Originally Posted by RichardKenner View Post
There's a specific law that says that certain types of rulings (and the essence of the case is what those types are) aren't the jurisdiction of the lower courts, but rather that the appeals courts have original jurisdiction. Corbett's argument is that the types of ruling that the law was meant for were ones where there was an administrative evidenciary hearing, which serves the purpose of the lower court and hence giving original jurisdiction to an appeals court to review that hearing makes sense. But this ruling (if it even is a ruling, which is the issue before the court) hasn't had an such hearing, so Corbett argues that it belongs in the lower court.

However, this issue is now definitively settled, so Corbett will presumably file a new action in the appeals court and we'll get a decision on its merits from that court.
A few have asked why I took this issue so far, or if it was a "publicity stunt." I believe that every citizen has a right to a trial by jury for constitutional grievances. The implications of this are clearly wider than my case against the TSA: by not taking this case, the Supreme Court has just chopped off a few more inches of our due process rights. In this case, it's even more suspect because it was entirely unclear that Congress even intended to limit district court jurisdiction of my variety of case. The TSA has stretched Congress' intent beyond any natural reading of their words, the district court bought it, the appeals court stamped it, and the Supreme Court ignored it. Truly sad.

It is also correct that my next step is to bring it back to the Court of Appeals (I'll do so in the 11th Circuit, not DC). I will have that process started within 30 days.

--Jon
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Old Oct 2, 12, 3:57 pm
  #27  
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Affection,

Thank you for doing what you have done.

Best of success in pursuing this further.
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Old Oct 2, 12, 4:04 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Affection View Post
It is also correct that my next step is to bring it back to the Court of Appeals (I'll do so in the 11th Circuit, not DC). I will have that process started within 30 days.

--Jon
Just wondering, is there any particular benefit to doing it in the 11th circuit? Reviews of administrative decisions are normally heard in the DC circuit, so filing it in the 11th just seems to give them another opportunity to stall. If they ruled that the district court has no jurisdiction, then they are most likely going to tell you to file your appeal in the DC circuit.

Just my opinion, although I'm sure you thought through this already.
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Old Oct 2, 12, 4:05 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Upgraded! View Post
Again, I don't think that's completely accurate, but perhaps one of our resident attorneys can clarify. Appellate courts do hear evidence when they have original jurisdiction, which it sounds like they do in this case.
No, they do not have original jurisdiction. The TSA itself has original jurisdiction, through an administrative review. The appellate court cannot hear evidence or determine facts in this case, which is why the outcome is so disappointing.
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Old Oct 3, 12, 7:00 am
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So of all of the cases brought against the TSA, the only ones that seem to have gotten anywhere are the EPIC cases filed in the federal court of appeals. The DHS/TSA itself appears to have "original jurisdiction"; they get get a year or so to ignore requests before a case in the court of appeals is filed. Then, after another year, the court asks the TSA what is taking so long. The TSA replies, "we were busy", then the court says, "well then do it sometime soon". A year later the TSA issues a response saying that everything is good, and the request for a hearing/review/information cannot be granted because it doesn't exist / they don't have time / it's a secret.

Has anyone considered a ballot initiative? Getting 200k signatures on a petition to ban scanners and gropedowns might be easier than getting a federal court to do anything. http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.ph...ss_in_Michigan
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