There is exactly one case dealing with the prohibition on photography of military bases under 18 U.S.C. § 975, Genovese v. Town of Southhampton, No. 10-CV-3470, ___ F. Supp. 2d ___, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14204, 2013 WL 420105 (E.D.N.Y., Feb. 1, 2013), and it is not really on point.

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That case is a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights lawsuit by Nancy Genovese over her detention and subsequent arrest for photographing a static display helicopter at a municipal airport and U.S.A.F.R./A.N.G. base.  The photograph, similar to the one shown here, drew the attention of an off-duty Southampton police officer who detained her.  The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office eventually arrested Genovese for trespass.  The charges were dropped and Genovese sued.

The decision, which is still subject to appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, granted the officer’s motion for summary judgment, stating that the officer had the right to detain Genovese for a federal crime.  It did not rule on the constitutionality of the statute.

This was covered a number of places, including the Huffington Post.  Before it was actually heard and a decision rendered, the town was almost hit with a $70 million default judgment against it, because they never filed an answer to the lawsuit.  Watching the town council freak out about this is funny, but they did get that judgment vacated.

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