Federal judges in Cincinnati have rejected a lawsuit by "Joe the Plumber" claiming his rights were violated by a state records search after he voiced public concern over taxes to then-candidate Barack Obama.
The three-judge 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld dismissal of the lawsuit. Samuel Wurzelbacher became nationally known as "Joe" during the 2008 presidential campaign after the much-quoted discussion.
He claims his First Amendment and privacy rights were violated by Ohio Job and Family Services officials who searched databases for information about him. The judges found Wurzelbacher wasn't harmed nor his free speech chilled by "fruitless database searches."
Two officials have resigned and a third was ousted.
Wurzelbacher won the House 9th District GOP nomination this year and will face Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur.