In the old days, you could say “Don’t Mess with Texas”.
Now they’ll just wimp out.
An astounding Department of Justice threat to cancel airline flights to and from Texas, in addition to underhanded lobbying by TSA representatives, has killed efforts in the state to pass HB 1937, a bill that would have made invasive pat downs by TSA agents a felony.
HB 1937, a bill that would have made it “A criminal act for security personnel to touch a person’s private areas without probable cause as a condition of travel or as a condition of entry into a public place,” was headed for an imminent Senate vote in Texas having already passed the House unanimously 138-0, before the federal government stepped in to nix the legislation.
In a letter sent to Texas lawmakers, including to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, the House Clerk, and the Senate Secretary, U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy threatened to cripple the airline industry in the state if legislators did not back down.
“If HR [sic] 1937 were enacted, the federal government would likely seek an emergency stay of the statute,” Murphy wrote. “Unless or until such a stay were granted, TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of passengers and crew.”
“We urge that you consider the ramifications of this bill before casting your vote,” Murphy added.
The fact that Murphy can’t even get the name of the bill correct is almost as disconcerting as the rampant mafia-like attitude of the DOJ in using de facto economic terrorism to shoot down the legislation.
Following a fiery debate in the Texas House last night, Senate sponsor Dan Patrick (R-Houston) pulled the bill, remarking that TSA representatives had been “lobbying” the Texas Senate in an effort to mothball the legislation.
“I will pull HB 1937 down, but I will stand for Liberty in the state of Texas,” Patrick said.
Patrick added that TSA officials had warned him passing the bill “could close down all the airports in Texas,” which he regarded as a ‘heavy handed threat’ by the federal government.
The staff of Rep. David Simpson said the DOJ had “thrown down the gauntlet” in using such stark language to oppose the bill.
“Either Texas backs off and continues to let government employees fondle innocent women, children and men as a condition of travel,” the staff wrote, “or the TSA [Transportation Safety Administration] has the authority to cancel flights or series of flights.”
“… 97 percent of people who go though the nation’s airports do not go through these offensive searches. And yet, a United States Attorney warns that flights to Texas could be shut down because TSA would not be able to ensure the safety of passengers and crew if agents could not touch genitals. Someone must make a stand against the atrocities of our government agents …”
So Texas is safe for legalize sexual harrassment. Hurray!
But it also shows how authoritarian governments operate.
The fact that the Department of Justice and the TSA have resorted to threats of economic terrorism in addition to underhanded lobbying techniques again illustrates the fact that the federal government is increasingly behaving like a criminal enterprise with total disregard for the Constitution.
The TSA’s initial response to HB 1937 was to claim that it could not become law because it violated the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article. VI. Clause 2), a law that the TSA claimed “prevents states from regulating the federal government.” (infowars)
Where have I heard that one before? 🙂
“Texas has no authority to regulate federal agents and employees in the performance of their federal duties or to pass a statute that conflicts with federal law,” Murphy said in the letter, saying the federal government would seek a court order to prevent enforcement of the law if passed.
Until that occurred, “TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of the passengers and crew.”
Funny, I’ve heard those words before….SB1070 and Illegal immigration anyone… 😦
A boisterous group of protesters angry over the Texas Senate’s failure to vote on the airport groping bill tried to enter the public gallery this afternoon and were blocked by state troopers.
Shouting “treason” and “cowards” and carrying signs and placards, and led by radio talk show host Alex Jones, the group of perhaps as many as 100 people entered the State Capitol shortly after 3 p.m. and first went to the House chamber.
There, House members quickly informed the shouting group that it was the Senate that had failed to take action late Tuesday on House Bill 1937, which would have made it a crime for security checkpoint screeners to handle the private parts of anyone they screened. (so the House members through the Senate under the bus…)
The group then marched to the Senate side of the Capitol and tried to enter the third-floor public gallery. Troopers with arms folded blocked them from entry.
They stood outside for several minutes, chanting: “Co-wards, co-wards,” Trea-son, trea-son,” and shouted slogans accusing senators and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst of being “federal pimps” and “scallawag trash.”
They vowed to vote out of office Dewhurst and the senators who opposed passage of the bill.
After shouting chants for about 30 minutes, the group left and troopers reopened the gallery doors. The activists then went to other parts of the Capitol to continue their protest.
Dewhurst has said the bill did not have the votes to pass, a fact he learned after the debate began. Patrick pulled down the bill from consideration after the debate began, and a vote never took place. The bill had lost support after senators had learned that federal officials had warned that such ban would violate federal law and could bring court challenges and airport shutdowns.
“Someone who will not stand up to the federal government, you have to ask yourself, is that the kind of person we need in the U.S. Senate?” Patrick said this afternoon, saying the bill is dead. (statesman.com)
The culprit apparently, the Lt. Governor who is running for the US Senate. I guess he didn’t want to tick off his hoped-to-be-future dictators in arms. And this idiot is a Republican?
I’m sure the rights of the people in Texas were foremost on his mind. 😦
In other words, “Don’t mess with Texas…as long as it’s not a challenge to the supremacy of Washington then we’ll cave like a rotten jalapeno”
The Bully pulpit wins again.
“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”- George Orwell