Jesse Ventura, the libertarian former governor of Minnesota known as The Body during his pro wrestling career, said he has stopped flying because he won’t let Transportation Security Administration officers grope him anymore.
“I’m not with you in the studio because I’ve quit flying,” Ventura told CNN’s Piers Morgan in New York this week. “I have metal in my body so every time I go to an airport the metal detector goes off. And they treat former governors like criminals and I’ve had enough. I won’t be treated like a criminal anymore so the only alternative is not to fly.”
The former wrestling star last year sued the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA for subjecting him to “warrantless and suspicionless” scans and body searches.
Ventura received a titanium hip replacement in 2008 and afterward set off airport metal detectors. Instead of being screened by a noninvasive hand-held wand as he was before the implant, he was instead subjected to a pat down that “exposed him to humiliation and degradation through unwanted touching, gripping and rubbing of the intimate areas of his body,” he said.
The lawsuit was eventually thrown out by a federal district judge in St. Paul, Minn., who ruled it should have been filed in a circuit court of appeals. The decision prompted the always colorful Ventura to vow to “never stand for a national anthem again,” he said. “I will turn my back and I will raise a fist.”
“It was a constitutional question so if she doesn’t have jurisdiction no one does,” he told Morgan. “People in this country need to understand when you go to any airport in the United States, you are not protected by the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. They can do anything they want to you and there is no where you can go to seek redress.”
The former governor isn’t the only one feeling hassled by airport security. A recent survey of air travelers found most complained about checkpoint screening.