Naked TSA protest: The next time you feel the folks at the Transportation Security Administration are getting a little too frisky with their pat-down inspection, take off all of your clothes and show them you have nothing whatsoever to hide. That way there’s absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that you’re a law-abiding citizen. Just make sure you tell them you’re protesting their regulations before doing so. Otherwise, it may not be considered free speech.
When 50-year-old John E. Brennan was asked to submit to a pat-down inspection at Portland International Airport, he opted instead of shed every bit of clothing in protest of the TSA’s request. As a result of the ensuing nudity, Brennan was arrested on charges of indecent exposure. However, a judge on Wednesday ruled in favor of the naked protestor, claiming the man’s actions were a protected form of free speech.
“It is the speech itself that the state is seeking to punish, and that it cannot do,” Circuit Judge David Rees explained. Prosecutors, meanwhile, argue that Brennan did not announce his intentions to protest the TSA’s request until after his pants had hit the floor.
“I also was aware of the irony of taking off my clothes to protect my privacy,” Brennan sad. “They’re getting as close to seeing us naked as they can. And we are upping the ante. I wanted to show them it’s a two-way street. I don’t like a naked picture of me being available.”
However, before you start shedding clothes to irritate the nearest TSA agent, you should know that the court’s decision does not affect nudity laws in other jurisdictions. Although you might be able to cite this case as precedent, chances are you’re going to have a hard time getting your point across if you’re just getting naked for the sake of getting naked.
If you’re interested in reading some trivia about the Transportation Security Administration presented as an Infographic, take a look at the image embedded below.