The Senate passed it last night so it’ll only be a bill for a few more days. A kindly tipster saw my post yesterday questioning whether John Doe immunity matters and told me something I didn’t know — apparently, this is also in the bill:
“Any person or authorized official found to be immune from civil liability under this section shall be entitled to recover from the plaintiff all reasonable costs and attorney fees.”
That’s reassuring. My worry was that there was nothing to deter CAIR from filing bad faith lawsuits with an eye to discouraging reports of suspicious activity. Who wins is almost irrelevant; it’s the threat of expensive protracted litigation that’s the real chiller. The attorney’s fees provision makes that calculus more painful for the plaintiff (although I still prefer my idea for absolute immunity inside airports).
I told the tipster I wanted to see the provision for myself and they told me to look here, but I can’t find it at a glance and don’t have time to pick through it. It’s not in section 1606; that appears to apply to DHS officers only, not passengers. The attorney’s fees provision was in Susan Collins’s Senate amendment that was defeated last week and to the best of my knowledge wasn’t reinserted wholesale into the conference committee version of the bill. Anyone willing and able to help out? If you find the section, e-mail me.
Update: Many thanks to RW Wacko for finding it. I completely missed it — it’s section 1206, starting on Adobe page 322. The attorney’s fees provision is in subsection (c) on the following page.