- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 18, 2019

An airline captain wants the Supreme Court to step in and approve his lawsuit against a TSA screener at Dulles International Airport, saying the officer has so far gotten away scot-free after delivering a karate chop to the pilot’s groin during a 2016 checkpoint encounter.

James Linlor has so far failed to convince lower courts that he can sue TSA officer Michael Gerard Polson, with the judges saying the screener has qualified immunity from a personal lawsuit since he was acting as an agent of the government.

Mr. Linlor says Mr. Polson shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind the government for actions that he says went well beyond the rulebook.

“Since no amount of striking force against a passenger’s testicles is possibly reasonable nor proscribed in TSA procedures, [Mr. Polson‘s] striking of [Mr. Linlor‘s] testicles is inherently a Fourth Amendment violation,” the captain said in his petition to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Linlor says he was also working as a senior cybersecurity consultant for the federal government when he showed up at a security line at Dulles. He had data cards used to access classified systems, which he offered for inspection but did not allow to be removed out of his sight, per federal regulations.

This, Mr. Linlor says, aggravated Mr. Polson who had to get his supervisor involved.

After the inspection of the cards was granted within Mr. Linlor’s presence, he said Mr. Polson required him to be patted down and then instructed him to spread his legs wider than the footprint marks on TSA mats.

Mr. Linlor said Mr. Polson then intentionally “karate-chopped” his private area and laughed. He said the TSA officials present all refused to apologize and police refused to arrest Mr. Polson.

As a result of the blow, Mr. Linlor says he had to have surgery last year.

The justices have scheduled Mr. Linlor’s case for conference on April 26, where they will consider to grant or deny his appeal.

Documents filed by Justice Department attorneys who represented Mr. Polson are under seal, and a spokesperson from the Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

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