Texas Representative David Simpson testified before the House State Affairs Committee on a bill that would make the inappropriate touching of passengers’ private parts by TSA agents illegal unless the agents have probable cause to do so.
This representative is the same one who 2 years ago introduced a harsher version that would criminalize any groping whatsoever. That brought on the ire of the feds through the Department of Justice who threatened to turn Texas into a no-fly zone if it dared enact legislation that would make it illegal for TSA agents to “do their job.”
This current version is only slightly different from the original in that the current one allows the “incidental” groping of a person’s groin as part of a routine pat-down but criminalizes the “intentional” groping. So, I guess Representative Simpson wants to focus on the more egregious TSA actions. Maybe that would be more politically feasible given the bad attitude the federal government has towards states who step on their toes.
According to Houston’s local CBS affiliate, the naked body scanners also played into Simpson’s proposal:
“Simpson said his bill was more necessary than ever because traditional metal detectors at airports have increasingly been replaced by full-body scanners that “basically allow people to be viewed naked.” He said he and others who object to that now often have no choice but to endure pat-downs. “The problem is this effort at security is really treating travelers, innocent people, as criminal suspects and making them submit to unreasonable, very intrusive searches,” Simpson said. He added of security agents: ‘They’re violating peoples’ most sacred areas of their bodies.’”
And that’s really at the heart of matter. The gropings themselves are secondary to the fact that the TSA are ordering their agents to disregard the 4th Amendment, which ostensibly protects Americans from searches and seizures without a warrant and without probable cause.
The committee had the option to send Simpson’s bill to the House floor for consideration but instead decided to leave it pending. Perhaps they’re afraid of what the feds will do this time if they pass the bill. But Simpson said that the feds’ previous threat was just that. A threat. He didn’t think they would actually shut down all Texas airports.
I agree. The feds can make those kinds of threats without actually intending to follow up on them. For most states, the threat is enough to make them comply. The feds know this. But would they actually shut down every airport in the state of Texas? I don’t think so. Their thing is conquering by consent. Incremental tyranny. I don’t think they really want a bloody war on their hands. Not yet anyway. I think Texas should call the feds’ bluff on this.