The man, identified as Aaron Tobey, 21, of Charlottesville, VA, was detained by federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers Dec. 30 after he removed layers of clothes to reveal the text of the Constitution's Fourth Amendment written on his chest.
The amendment states:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Tobey, a senior at the University of Cincinnati at the time, said he was protesting airport security procedures that he believed violated the Fourth Amendment.
He was eventually allowed to continue on his flight to attend a family funeral.
A government attorney argued Wednesday in Richmond federal court that the authorities involved in the arrest were doing their jobs and acted appropriately.
Carlotta P. Wells, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, argued in favor of a motion to dismiss Aaron B. Tobey's lawsuit
Anand Agneshwar, Tobey's attorney, says that his client obeyed their commands and that it was the authorities who went too far by detaining him for 90 minutes with his hands cuffed behind his back.
The lawsuit alleges false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and violations of Tobey's rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth and 14th amendments. It seeks $250,000 in compensatory damages, legal fees and additional training for TSA employees.