New Legislation says "No!" to TSA in Texas

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Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) introduced a package of bills into the Texas House of Representatives on Tuesday that would challenge the TSA’s authority in a number of ways. The first bill, HB 1938, prohibits full body scanning equipment in any Texas airport and provides for criminal and civil penalties on any airport operator who installs the equipment. The second bill, HB 1937, criminalizes touching without consent and searches without probable cause.

HB 1938 reads in part:

(b) An airport operator may not allow body imaging scanning equipment to be installed or operated in any airport in this state.

(c) An airport operator commits an offense if the operator fails to comply with Subsection (b).

(d) An airport operator who commits an offense under Subsection (c) is subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 for each day of the violation.

HB 1937 includes the following:

(3) as part of a search performed to grant access to a publicly accessible building or form of transportation, intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:

(A) searches another person without probable cause to believe the person committed an offense; and

(B) touches the anus, sexual organ, or breasts of the other person, including touching through clothing, or touches the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person.

(f) …. An offense under Subsection (a)(3) is a state jail felony.

Both bills empower the Texas Attorney General to bring suit in court.

The TSA will likely challenge such a law, but the Texas legislature stands on solid ground. Local governments control airports and no enumerated power in the Constitution gives the federal government the authority to regulate them. Under the Tenth Amendment, airport operation falls under state jurisdiction.

TSA regulations allow for passengers to refuse the body scans, but they must instead submit to an intrusive full-body pat down. This package addresses both issues. The HB 1938 legislation addresses the physical installation of full-body scans, and HB 1937 addresses the problematic constitutional issues of TSA security screening procedures. Random full-body scans and pat downs in the absence of probable cause arguably violates the Fourth Amendment.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…

Brian Roberts is a long-time volunteer with the Texas TAC and a regular contributor to the Tenth Amendment Center website.

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24 Responses to “New Legislation says "No!" to TSA in Texas”

  1. MichaelBoldin says:

    What does THAT matter? All that matters is what is constitutional.

    WHERE in the Constitution is the TSA authorized?

    Here is a hint – it\’s not there. The agency, like the DOE, and the EPA and most of the rest – should not even exist.

  2. JerryT says:

    Flying is not a right, it is not public transportation. If you want to fly you will follow the airlines rules and TSA's rules or you don't fly, simple as that. You have a choice, fllow the rules and fly or get your butt in a car and drive. So bottom line is your rights are ot being violated because if you get a patdown it was by your own choice because you chose that over driving.

  3. JerryT says:

    Thousands of people have been led to believe TSA is the bad guys, but I wonder who started all these rumors? Who will benefit the most if the security is lowered? I can tell you who will pay, the honest people who fly. Something else this politician fails to mention is that the airlines want TSA in place and the planes belong to them not the state of federal government.

  4. JerryT says:

    I have seen hundreds of these comments against TSA, most include name calling from some insecure little person hiding behind a computer screen. One thing that I have started noticing is that the ones doing the most complaining are people who rarely fly or never fly. These are people who are just going by what they have heard from others, usually from people pissed off because they had their gigantic size can of hair spray taken away when trying to board a plane. I fly on a regular basis and you can always tell the frequent fliers, they have their items packed properly and breeze through the check point with out a single problem. Then you have the complainers and trouble makers, these are the ones who stand there flapping their lips and making rude remarks at the officers that are trying to keep them safe. These people never follow any of the rules and then get pissed because they don't get special treatment.

  5. [...] zone of our diagram.  Proposed TSA limiting laws in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Texas which consider unconstitutional “strip searches” and “aggressive pat downs” to be assault [...]

  6. [...] zone of our diagram.  Proposed TSA limiting laws in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Texas which consider unconstitutional “strip searches” and “aggressive pat downs” [...]

  7. Manny says:

    I bet the passengers flying in 911 and all the people that died that day would have love for the airports to have the security we have now then. This law is only a little make up. Even a state law is subject to a federal agency regulation and any state cop that tries to arrest a TSA Officer for doing the job TSA mandates can be arrested and prosecuted under title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations for interfering with a federal Officer while performing his or her duties. Any airport refusing to follow federal regulations can lose it’s FAA licensees to conduct operations and will have its planes grounded. This law is nonsense and the state has NO WAY of implementing it. Stupid people!

  8. [...] zone of our diagram.  Proposed TSA limiting laws in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Texas which consider unconstitutional “strip searches” and “aggressive pat [...]

  9. [...] dignity.  Along with our neigbors in New Jersey and other states, including New Hampshire and Texas, Pennsylvania’s General Assembly is considering TSA resistance legislation of our [...]

  10. Joe R says:

    The people trying to justify these government thugs actions are relying on their fear to rub off on those of us who are more afraid of tyranny than terrorists.

    These apologists for criminal assault forget, or chose to ignore the fact that the constitution list ALL FEDERAL POWERS and reserves those powers not listed to the states and to the people. Unwarranted searches are certainly not one of those listed powers. Drones like these simpering cowards who would abandon the essence of what makes the U.S. form of government exceptional are more frightening than any terrorist.

  11. Mike says:

    “….It’s demeaning and diminishes the American Spirit.”

    YES — Exactly their (our government) plan. They want us SUBSERVIENT and fearful (of them)! There is no serious Terrorist threat. If there was we would have had hundreds of attacks throughout our nation since 911. But we haven’t even had ONE real attack since then. Yes, we’ve had some FBI created/manipulated patsy’s so as to keep the “threat” alive in the brainwashed minds of the less than intelligent Americans. And from the comments on this story it would appear that the “less than intelligent” are on the move! Ha Ha

    I just wish they cared about the rule of Law (ie- the Constitution) and the Bill of Rights(tip: think 4th Amendment). But these scared fools would sell their mothers for a sense of security. They could care less what Jefferson, Franklin, or any other Founder had to say about state run security. Sad.

    “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
    — Thomas Jefferson

    “Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security” —————Benjamin Franklin

    “A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know the
    price of rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved.”
    ———————–Benjamin Franklin

    I guess our Government run schools didn’t want the folks commenting to be “well-informed”. And they’re obviously not.

    Mike

  12. Amy says:

    TSA officers make alot more than $9 an hour. Unpredictable screening measures have proven to be an effective tool in discovering threats that K-9 dogs are not suited for. Nobody's "junk gets touched, either. Security sensitive information about much of TSA's effectiveness is not disclosed to the general public, but they perform a series of necessary safety checks to keep the skies safe.

  13. Amy says:

    TSA officers make alot more than $9 an hour. Unpredictable screening measures have proven to be an effective tool in discovering threats that K-9 dogs are not suited for. Nobody's "junk gets touched, either. Security sensitive information about much of TSA's effectiveness is not disclosed to the general public, but they perform a series of necessary safety checks to keep the skies safe.

    Every time a terrorist attempts to do something nutty, the rules become stricter. I don't see a Mexican border state lightening up security any time soon (nothing against Mexicans, but even border control can't keep a grip on the criminals that easily sneak through)…

    I also agree that it is political stunt that will fail in the end.

  14. STEELJAW says:

    The day that they make Full Body Scanners and Pat Downs illegal, will be the day that commercial airlines fall from the sky like dying leaves off a tree. Terrorist are waiting and praying for this Bill to pass. I just want everyone to remember the author of this incredible stupid waste of time and tax dollars, (Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview,TX). Remember this,The plains for the 9/11 hijacking were found on a terrorist's computer back in 1995. They are probing our airline security every day. Most of us know that this Bill is just a stunt to get votes anyway. When this day happens, make sure you point the blame in the right direction, (Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview,TX) and not at the TSA.
    I wish they would tell the american public how serious the threat really is. Believe me, they are watching and waiting for us to relax security.

  15. Bubba says:

    Why are y'all so concerned about getting your picture taken while the police are doing "no-refusal" blood draws (http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/blotter/entries/2011/03/03/police_announce_norefusal_days.html)? We need some 4th amendment priorities here, people…

  16. DANO says:

    I am so sick and tired of all these whining babies complaining about theses necessary security devices to keep the radical Muslim extremists from terrorizing our people. Just shut your pie holes and go through the body scanner or if you don't like that you can choose the feel me up option so you can get your junk prodded and poked. If it makes our nations safer just shut your spoiled rotten lips and be thankful the TSA has the guts to do such a great job of protecting assholes like you. THANKS TO THE TRA EVERYDAY!!! GOG BLESS YOU!!!

  17. Rosci Texeira says:

    Shain – all you have to do is go to the Texas Legislature and type in the bill number. Here is the link to the above mentioned bill: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/82R/billte

  18. Rosci Texeira says:

    Thank you Texas! Now – other states need to follow suit. I travel a lot and I've been subjected to horrific offenses in the name of "security." The bottom line is this — a well trained K-9 team will do a better job and will be less intrusive and offensive than these dang machines. While we are at it, let's demand FULL DISCLOSURE – we want the names of all the Congress persons who own stock in those $400,000 body scanner machines. There is a huge conflict of interest going on here.

    AND I would ask everyone in America to go online and do a search on "Stanford Prison Experiment." Because of the power the TSA has given to these $9 an hour TSA people, they are acting like the Prison guards in that experiment, and the public is starting to act like the prisoners. It's demeaning and diminishes the American Spirit.

  19. shain says:

    I was unable to find any information directly from the state on this. Please cite your resources, or be disregarded. Google only popped up with this article. If this is true, wont it get more coverage? Wont people with the opposing view say something. I really hope it is true, but I have found no evidence.

  20. JD Ferry says:

    Fantastic. It is about time. Texas needs to lead the way on this. The Feds are attempting to take over our state. They want to use "fusion" centers to take away our fine local and state police and put them under the power of a federal government that treats us as an occupied nation. They will be stopped.

    These bills needd to be passed! Our fourth, fifth and tenth ammendment rights cannot be violated. They are OURS. The federal government cannot walk over the Texas Constitution. This is a great start in preserving our life of liberty!

  21. Bob says:

    Why do we need more laws when molestation, voyeurism, and theft are already illegal?

    Take the laws we have today and start arresting these government thugs, try them, convict them, and send them to jail where they belong. Prisons are a great place for these perverts.

    And don't forget to do the same to those that pass illegal and unconstitutional laws, and the high level government terrorists that implement them.

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