WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court questioned Monday whether a Wisconsin airline can be held liable for reporting one of its pilots as mentally unstable and potentially armed. Federal authorities pulled the pilot off a flight on which he was a passenger, but found no cause for concern.
The justices heard Air Wisconsin’s appeal of a $1.4 million defamation judgment in the case of veteran pilot William Hoeper. The dispute centers on the immunity Congress promised airlines in a post-9/11 law aimed at encouraging them to report possible security threats.
The Obama administration has taken the airline’s side because it worries that upholding the verdict against Air Wisconsin would discourage other airlines from reporting potential security threats to the Transportation Security Administration. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.