Judge acquits Portland man who stripped naked at TSA checkpoint
A Portland man was exercising his right to free speech when he stripped naked at an airport checkpoint to protest TSA scanning procedures, a judge ruled.
John E. Brennan, 50, who went "Full Monty" at Portland International Airport in April, was acquitted of indecent exposure on Wednesday.
Multnomah County judge David Rees ruled that the First Amendment protected the 50-year-old frequent flier’s right drop his duds because he did it in protest, not to arouse or titillate the travelers around him.
Citing a 1985 state appeals court ruling stating that nudity laws don't apply in cases of protest, Rees said, "It is the speech itself that the state is seeking to punish, and that it cannot do," The Oregonian newspaper reported.
Brennan's pals in the packed courtroom cheered the decision.
As they were leaving the court, one 70-year-old friend stuck a note to Brennan’s chest that said "Sir Godiva," a reference to 11th century England's Lady Godiva, who legend says rode a horse naked through the streets of Coventry to protest high taxes.
Brennan said he knew he wasn't breaking the law when he dropped trou partly from his experience riding in Rose City's annual Naked Bike Ride, during which Portland cops traditionally look the other way.