Court Rules Pat-Downs Not Unconstitutional

Pat-down searches of fans entering Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ games does not constitute a violation of the Constitution – at least not in the case of a Tampa Bay Technical High School civics teacher who sued the NFL and the Tampa Sports Authority over the procedure, the Tampa Tribune reports. Whether pat-downs will resume with the start of the upcoming football season remains unclear. They currently are banned.

Over the past two years, based on Gordon Johnston’s lawsuit, three different courts have banned physical pat-down searches at Tampa Bay Buccaneers games. A federal appeals court today, however, reversed the lower courts’ decisions and has determined that Johnston consented to the searches when he showed up at three Bucs’ games fully knowing that the searches would be conducted. Today’s decision will send the case right back to federal court in Tampa where U.S. District Judge James Whittemore will have to re-examine the issue with the full understanding that Johnston consented to the pat-down search.


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