Wednesday, March 28, 2007

House Votes to Protect "John Does" on Flights from Litigation

Score one for the ordinary passenger who sees suspicious activity as displayed by the flying imams. The House passed legislation protecting "John Does" from such suits.

House Republicans tonight surprised Democrats with a procedural vote to protect public-transportation passengers from being sued if they report suspicious activity -- the first step by lawmakers to protect "John Doe" airline travelers already targeted in such a lawsuit.

After a heated debate and calls for order, the motion to recommit the Democrats' Rail and Public Transportation Security Act of 2007 back to committee with instructions to add the protective language passed on a vote of 304-121.

Republicans said the lawsuit filed by six Muslim imams against US Airways and "John Does," passengers who reported suspicious behavior, could have a "chilling effect" on passengers who may fear being sued for acting vigilant.

Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, offered the motion saying all Americans -- airline passengers included -- must be protected from lawsuits if they report suspicious behavior that may foreshadow a terrorist attack.

The law is retroactive to activities that took place after Nov. 20, 2006, the date of the Minneapolis incident.

It's good to see Congress protecting citizens from these sorts of suits, which have no purpose but to use our own laws against us.