Rutherford Institute files civil suit for shirtless passenger


Months after Aaron Tobey was charged with disorderly conduct for removing his shirt in protest of the Transportation Security Administration’s new screening procedures, the 21-year-old local has filed his own charges. The Rutherford Institute, a civil rights litigation firm based in Charlottesville, filed a $250,000 lawsuit on behalf of Tobey that alleges a few Bill of Rights violations—namely, the Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals against unreasonable searches. The disorderly conduct charge brought by TSA against Tobey was ultimately dropped.

As if one civil rights case of national interest weren’t enough, the Rutherford Institute is also busy with a developing story in Oregon, where a bus driver was dismissed from his job as a schoolbus driver for flying a Confederate flag emblazoned with the word "Redneck." Calling driver Ken Webber’s firing a First Amendment violation, Rutherford sent a letter to Webber’s employers asking that the driver be reinstated and allowed to fly his flag. For previous coverage of the Rutherford Institute, click here.