The father of an autistic boy has asked the Supreme Court to allow him to protest the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) policy that requires individuals to remove full-body face masks before boarding a flight.
TSA requested a delay in the case, which was filed by US Airways in December 2017. The agency wants to “resolve the parties’ pending filings with an expedited briefing schedule” and have a decision by the end of the year.
TSA argues that uniform rules for conduct on board planes at airports are intended to protect passengers against potential explosive devices.
James Diamond, whose 5-year-old son was removed from a flight because of his mask, has sought to have a federal judge in Florida issue a ruling blocking the implementation of the TSA rules. A judge ruled in September that TGE would likely succeed on the merits of the case, but said she would allow the older boy to fly with his adult daughter’s mask. That suit is ongoing.
Olivia Wine was returning from her honeymoon in South Africa on June 26, 2017, when she was forced to leave the US Airways flight at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport after the teddy bear she was wearing was deemed “suspicious.” Diamond told CNN he noticed his son was upset and agitated after about 15 minutes and asked to speak to a flight attendant before they left the gate.
“That’s when I noticed they were behind us with more than 10 people running up behind us with their cell phones, a few with TV cameras and screaming, ‘Is this about the mask?'” Diamond said. “The little boy was screaming, ‘Please don’t, Daddy.'”
Diamond said he then asked his son to repeat what he was told and told the airport police officer at the gate that the TSA regulations applied to passengers as well as baggage, causing one of the officers to become visibly agitated.
TSA officials said that would not have been permitted.