Jesse Ventura Has Had It with TSA: He is Willing to Move to Mexico
By Ellen Cannon
In January 2011, Jesse Ventura a former professional wrestler and Navy Seal who was elected to governor of Minnesota in 1998 sued the TSA over what he claimed were unreasonable searches of his body following a titanium hip implant. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson dismissed the case arguing that the she did not have the authority to hear the case which challenges Transportation Security Administration regulations and orders. That can take place only in a federal court of appeals. The judge granted the government’s motion to dismiss the case. In response Ventura said,” I will never fly commercially again”. He added that he and his wife intend to apply for Mexican citizenship and become dual citizens.
The rage experienced by former governor Ventura stemmed from his titanium hip implant setting off metal detectors at airports. In July 2010 TSA screeners were required to “pull such people aside and search them more thoroughly whether by using “whole body screening” or physical pat-down.(www.stcloudtimes.com). In the Suit filed by Mr. Ventura he noted that although he was a frequent flyer, a veteran, and had served as the highest elected official in his state, he was not given the option by the TSA to submit to a less intrusive security measure such as a magnetic wand nor was he given a medical or other exemption from the whole body imaging or pat down body search. He argued that the scans reveal too much and the pat-downs require a security officer to grope his body, “including private and sensitive areas.”
Based on his perspective Ventura claimed that his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search had been violated. He contended that “enhanced searches were not orders or regulations but “rather a secret standard operating procedure” that needed to be questioned in the courts.” Ventura also remarked that “The TSA’s actions were part of the locking down of the American citizens” and he would rather face terrorist than give up one of my rights.” Mr. Ventura further noted that TSA’s procedures treated passengers as guilty until proven innocent.”(www.startribune.com. 11/4/2011).
Ventura’s suit was thrown out because it was Congress that established the TSA regulations so that all such challenges must be brought directly to the Circuit Court of Appeals.
Upon hearing the decision of the court Ventura responded, on Friday, November 4, “I want a trial by jury.” According to the Star Tribune, he continued to question “whether he could trust a panel of three government paid appeals court judges.”