Federal Judge Rules Against Pat Downs

Federal Judge Rules Against Pat Downs

This is a discussion on Federal Judge Rules Against Pat Downs within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Came across this: http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/9576028 I wonder how far reaching this will become. Judge rules against Bucs; league defends pat-downs July 28, 2006 CBS SportsLine.com wire ...

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Thread: Federal Judge Rules Against Pat Downs

  1. #1
    Member Array Kat's Avatar
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    Federal Judge Rules Against Pat Downs

    Came across this:
    http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/9576028

    I wonder how far reaching this will become.


    Judge rules against Bucs; league defends pat-downs
    July 28, 2006
    CBS SportsLine.com wire reports



    TAMPA, Fla. -- Security "pat-downs" of fans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers games are unconstitutional and unreasonable, a federal judge ruled Friday, throwing into question the practice at NFL games nationwide.

    U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore issued an order siding with a season-ticket holder who had sued to stop the fan searches that began last season after the NFL implemented enhanced security measures.

    High school civics teacher Gordon Johnson sued the Tampa Sports Authority, which operates the stadium, to stop officials from conducting the "suspicionless" searches. A state judge agreed with Johnston that the searches are likely unconstitutional and halted them.

    The case was later moved to federal court, where the sports authority sought to have that order thrown out. Whittemore refused Friday, writing that the pat-downs "constitute unreasonable searches under the Florida Constitution and the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution."

    Further, Whittemore said the Tampa Sports Authority failed to establish that the risks outweigh the need to protect the public from unreasonable searches.

    Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, which sued on Johnston's behalf, said Whittemore's decision could turn out to be significant.

    "It's obviously not going to govern what's happening around the country, but it's certainly going to be an influential precedent," Simon said. "Other courts may look at it."

    Simon said he thinks the decision shows that courts are "pushing back" at governmental attempts to violate citizens' civil rights on the basis of a perceived threat of terrorism or crime.

    Rick Zabak, an attorney for Tampa Sports Authority, said the decision will be appealed.

    "We're disappointed, and we respectfully disagree with the judge's conclusions," Zabak said.

    Calls to an NFL spokesman were not immediately returned Friday. In a previous statement, the NFL said "these limited screenings are reasonable and important to the protection of our fans."

    Another NFL pat-down case made it into federal court last week when the Chicago Park District sued in federal court to challenge the planned searches by police at Chicago Bears games.

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  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
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    Oh, me, oh my.

    This thread might get controversial. I don't go to NFL games, or other places that are crammed with noise and people.

    But I tend to think that the Government needs a better reason to touch you than the fact that you are attending a football game, so I applaud the decision.

    Just a start, but it's a trend I hope is starting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Timmy Jimmy's Avatar
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    Texas law prohibits carrying at any sporting event so I doubt if it will have an affect here!
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    If it is not in the US Constitution then the Federal Government should not be doing it.

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    Member Array rvacoastie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randytulsa2
    Oh, me, oh my. I tend to think that the Government needs a better reason to touch you than the fact that you are attending a football game, so I applaud the decision.
    As I understand it it is not the "government" per se that is patting people down, it is private security hired by the stadium. If you have a weapon they don't charge you, they ask you to leave. As much as I feel that places should allow ccw licensed persons to carry I think they also should have the right to choose their own policy.

  5. #5
    Member Array GarySlinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy Jimmy
    Texas law prohibits carrying at any sporting event so I doubt if it will have an affect here!
    You can't CCW at a professional sporting event in Florida, i.e. at the Bucs, either. But this is still good:

    (a) it keep their hands off of us, and
    (b) it reduces the possibilities of "silliness" like the time I had one of those 1" swiss-army keyring "knives" confiscated at a Lightning game. (That particular time, I was with some corporate folks, and the "knife" itself was a giveaway from Dell, so I let it ride. Othertimes, I might have been a bit more "go get me the manager"...)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array gddyup's Avatar
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    Interesting. I went to a Manchester Wolves Arena Football game last night and did not carry into the Verizon Wireless Arena. I carried to the game and then "split off" my XD in my truck before entering the arena. I could not remember if the arena had metal detectors or not at the entrance so I figured I'd remove my XD and folder before going in. Turns out there are NO metal detectors or pat-downs in order to enter. What I did find somewhat amusing is the fact that my wife and my sister-in-laws carry bags/purse were both opened and searched in order for them to get into the game.

    Next time I go, which could be very soon since the Wolves are in the playoffs, I will CERTAINLY be packing!
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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    First off, only the government can violate your 4th amendment right. Learned that in CON Law class.

    Second of all, since this in DISTRICT court and not in the SC, the ruling only pertains to its jurisdiction in the district, not the entire US. Basically, this ruling has no effect on the country that is not in that federal court district. Just wanted to point that out.
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    Member Array PolarBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freakshow10mm
    First off, only the government can violate your 4th amendment right. Learned that in CON Law class.

    Second of all, since this in DISTRICT court and not in the SC, the ruling only pertains to its jurisdiction in the district, not the entire US. Basically, this ruling has no effect on the country that is not in that federal court district. Just wanted to point that out.
    I disagree.
    This ruling WILL affect other jurisdictions because it now sets the precedent for others to follow. Yes, there will have to be other cases in other areas, but they can use this case law as an example of "why" they feel their new case has merit.
    I am also interested to find out if the NFL was using private security to perform the "pat-downs" or if they employed the local LEOs, even in the local LEOs were there and NOT actually doing the pat downs. I find it hard to believe that this case would be over private security doing this. The root idea has to do with the government's ability to violate our rights.

  9. #9
    Member Array rvacoastie's Avatar
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    Judicial activism can go both ways...Just becuase a judge is an activist does not mean he is a liberal. Even if they are off-duyt LEOs it shouldn't effect the ruling unless when the find weapons they are checking ccw cards and arresting people...and even then one could argue that this is still legal becuase it is basically a consent search. You are consenting to the search by attempting to enter the stadium...if you don't want to be searched then watch the game from home...once again not saying I agree, just playing devil's advocate.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    You are misunderstanding what I am saying. This ruling, as it stands now, does not affect me in another federal district. It could affect it later if it goes to the SC or if the same ruling is made in another federal district court. Yes, it could affect the future rulings of other federal district courts.

    What I am saying is just because that particular ruling has been made in that district court doesn't mean that someone on the other side of the country can claim protection under this ruling. This ruling MAY affect other jurisdictions but unless a similar case with similar situations comes along in those jurisdictions, what is ruled in District 2 FC doesn't mean squat in District 9 FC. That is my point.
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  11. #11
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    As far as government goes, I would believe that the Tampa Sports Authority is a Tampa-area local government agency. Even if they contract-out a private security company, the private security indirectly becomes part of the government agency (temporarily) because they are exercising the power of and working under the authority of the TSA.

    For all intents and purposes I am a "civilian", but while I am at work (a LE agency), if I tell you to do something (anything) I am working under the full authority of the LE agency and therefore, the government. If I tell you to do something that would violate your constitutional rights, both myself and my agency is responsible. I have no arrest powers and am not a LEO, but I am working under the authority of a governmental (and LE) agency.

    Cheers.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    There can be different rules for the differing districts. A type of search may be allowed in one district but not in another depending on how the respective district courts have ruled. This is usually when SCOTUS steps in to "settle" the issue.

    As for the searchers being private security and not actually the "government", if they are hired by the government then they are in fact agents of the government and the Constitution applies.
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  13. #13
    Member Array PolarBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freakshow10mm
    You are misunderstanding what I am saying. This ruling, as it stands now, does not affect me in another federal district. It could affect it later if it goes to the SC or if the same ruling is made in another federal district court. Yes, it could affect the future rulings of other federal district courts.

    What I am saying is just because that particular ruling has been made in that district court doesn't mean that someone on the other side of the country can claim protection under this ruling. This ruling MAY affect other jurisdictions but unless a similar case with similar situations comes along in those jurisdictions, what is ruled in District 2 FC doesn't mean squat in District 9 FC. That is my point.
    No misunderstanding here and I think we are basically saying the same thing. I am just trying to clear up a few points.

    My prior post was only pointing out that this is a "precedent for others to follow" and I did say "there will have to be other cases in other areas".

    Your idea that "someone on the other side of the country (cannot) claim protection under this ruling" is NOT the case. They CAN use this case as the LEGAL PRECEDENT for their NEW case regardless of where they live. It may or may not win, but they CAN use it as their argument.

    Please understand that my statements are not intended as a personal attack on you. I am merely trying to explain the law as a benefit to others. It seems you are saying BASICLY the right things; it is just the way it is being said needs some clarification for those who may not be as well informed.

  14. #14
    Member Array HighVelocity's Avatar
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    Unless you enjoy rants, skip my post.

    I think the same ruling should apply to TSA. If there's nothing suspicious looking on the bag xray and the metal detector doesn't beep when I walk through it and I'm not wearing a hockey goalie mask and blood soaked overalls then there's no reason to hold me up for 10-15 minutes, pat me down and empty the contents of my bags because "I've been selected for random screening".

    I do not go to sporting events for the simple reason that I would rather watch it on TV in the comfort of my own home where the beer isn't $7 a glass. Don't forget the heat and funk of others lack of personal hygeine, waiting in line to use the restroom when the play of the day happens and idling in the parking lot for an hour waiting to get out.
    Of course, I have to leave my CCW in the truck risking theft too since a pro sports event is off limits for concealed carry in the state of TX.

    Nope, not for me. I'll stay home thank you and lessen my risk of coming in contact with Hepatitis and save my money, gasoline and sanity.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    When I worked private security I really enjoyed the confused looks on people when I told them that it was impossible for me to violate their rights, since I worked for a private corporation. Civics lesson, just another service I offer. Of course, my arrest powers were codified into state law, so I'm not sure if that made me a "government agent".

    Yes, it would be nice if the feds would tell PRIVATE parties that random searches were illegal, but I'm not holding my breath.
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