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Landmark appeals court decision will allow airline passengers to sue the TSA for misconduct

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On Saturday, Bloomberg News reported that a significant new ruling from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia will enable airline passengers to sue the Transportation Security Administration for incidents like damaged luggage, overly handsy inspections, and wrongful detention.

The case stemmed from an incident at Philadelphia International Airport, in which Florida woman Nadine Pellegrino was selected by TSA officers for additional screening. After the search, she crawled under an inspection table to retrieve her bags, and accidentally tipped over the table, which landed on an officer’s foot. She was promptly arrested and charged with 10 federal crimes, including aggravated assault and “possession of an instrument of crime” — the “instrument,” they argued, being the luggage itself.

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These charges were ultimately dismissed, but Pellegrino sued the agency.

A district judge and a panel of three appellate judges ruled that Pellegrino had no standing to sue the TSA because its agents are simply baggage screeners, not law enforcement officials, and thus are protected by a broad federal immunity granted administrative workers for going about their business.

But the Third Circuit reheard the case en banc, and the full court ruled 9-4 to overturn this decision, holding that TSA officers are in fact law enforcement officials, “by dint of their title, badge, and authority.” If these officers are not law enforcement, the court ruled, then Pellegrino and others like her “will have no remedy when TSOs assault them, wrongfully detain them, or even fabricate criminal charges against them.”

This decision could have profound consequences for the public accountability of the TSA, which in recent years has come under fire for a number of scandals including damaged or stolen baggage and deliberate groping of passengers.

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House Republicans have 3 key defenses of Trump’s Ukraine extortion campaign — and they’re all terrible

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To any halfway objective observer, the first day of public hearings in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, which are ongoing as of this writing, have not gone well for Trump’s defenders.

Bill Taylor, the top US ambassador in Kyiv, and veteran State Department official George Kent came off as principled and non-partisan as they delivered damning testimony about the Trump regime’s multifaceted campaign to coerce the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation into fringe right-wing conspiracy theories designed to deflect blame for interfering in the 2016 election from Russia and onto Ukraine.

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Progressives hilariously ridicule Donald Trump Jr.’s new book with their own Trump triggers #TriggerDonaldTrumpJr

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President Donald Trump's eldest child and namesake has published a book about liberals he says are "triggered" by conservatives. Ironically, it seems Donald Trump Jr. is the one who seems to be triggered by the reception he's getting from some on his book tour.

The hashtag, #TriggerDonaldTrumpJr has nothing to do with Jr's new book, rather it's progressives using his book title to mock the Trump child. Internet users were torn between mocking the young Trump for desperately trying to get his father's attention, scrambling to seem relevant, trying to launch his own political career, trying to make his own money and so much more.

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‘Blather and hysteria’: Conservative columnist explains why GOP anti-impeachment ‘antics’ just crashed and burned

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Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Devin Nunes of California and other House Republicans were clearly trying to rally the Trumpian base on Wednesday, when the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump offered its first public testimony. Jordan and Nunes aggressively tried to discredit the inquiry and the two witnesses who testified: diplomat William B. Taylor (U.S. ambassador to Ukraine) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George P. Kent. But conservative Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin, in a Wednesday column, stressed that House Republicans — for all their “antics and conspiracy theories” — failed to show why Trump shouldn’t be impeached, while House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and other House Democrats showed why he should.

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