March 16, 2011
A college student who was arrested for stripping down at airport security to reveal the Fourth Amendment written across his chest is now suing the U.S. government for violating his rights as ordained in — you guessed it — the Fourth Amendment.
Aaron Tobey’s dramatic strip-protest is one of the latest in a series of stunts by American travelers fed up with airport security procedures some consider too invasive. A YouTube video of a California man’s airport security pat-down, in which he warns the agent not to “touch my junk,” went viral last year. John Tyner’s infamous quote has been made into T-shirts and bumper stickers and even became the colloquial title of proposed legislation, the Transportation Security Administration “Don’t Touch My Junk” bill.
The Constitution’s Fourth Amendment outlaws “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Tobey, a 21-year-old University of Cincinnati architecture student, had those very words scrawled across his chest and abdomen when he stripped down to his underwear at a Richmond, Va., airport back in December. He was heading to his grandfather’s funeral at the time. Tobey was arrested and cited for disorderly conduct.