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TSA Set To Take Legal Action Against Texas Groping Ban

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars
Thursday, June 23, 2011

With a bill that would ban invasive TSA pat downs  in Texas set to be heard by the state legislature on Friday, the federal agency  has indicated that it will take legal action to prevent the law being  implemented, indicating that the government could once again resort to  threatening Texas with a blockade that would impose a de facto “no fly zone”  over the state.

TSA Head John Pistole

The House version of SB 29, a bill that would  punish any TSA agent who “touches the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of  the other person, including touching through clothing,” with a year in jail or a  $4,000 fine, was initially shot down last month despite passing the Texas House  unanimously after the Justice  Department resorted to threats of financial terrorism in resolving to impose  a federal blockade to prevent flights operating out of Texas airports.

The DoJ threat to impose a federal blockade  against Texas has not been withdrawn, but Robert Mann Jr., president of R.W.  Mann & Company, Inc., an airline industry consulting firm in Port  Washington, New York, told  Forbes that the threat was “not viable,” labeling the idea that the feds  would shut down an entire state a “non-starter”.

Following a gargantuan lobbying effort on behalf  of pressure groups, Governor  Rick Perry was forced to add the legislation to a special session earlier  this week and the bill is set to be heard on Friday. State  Senator Dan Patrick, the leading sponsor behind the bill, is already  confident that the legislation has enough votes for passage.

But although the bill looks like it will sail  through, the TSA is determined to turn the vote into little more than a symbolic  gesture, by promising to pursue legal action to derail Texas’ efforts to make  TSA groping a felony.

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<a href=’http://rotate.infowars.com/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a44dee25&cb=1654322&#8242; target=’_blank’><img src=’http://rotate.infowars.com/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=49&cb=1654322&n=a44dee25&#8242; border=’0′ alt=” /></a>“We will carefully review the bill that the  legislature brings forward,” the  TSA announced in a statement. “Should a bill pass that limits the ability of  TSA and its employees to perform its responsibilities and jeopardizes the safety  of the public, we will take whatever legal action is appropriate to ensure  travelers are safe when they fly from Texas or any other state.”

The agency is expected to argue that the groping  ban is a violation of the Supremacy  Clause to the US Constitution, which according to TSA lawyers gives the  federal government authority over the states. However, the Supremacy Clause  merely states that the Constitution is supreme, not that the authority of the  government is supreme. Indeed, if anything the Supremacy Clause works in favor  of the anti-pat down bill because it reinforces the protections guaranteed by  the fourth amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office has  written a letter to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who  many blame for putting pressure on Texas Senators that led to the  mothballing of the original bill, calling for language to be added to SB 29  specifying that the invasive pat down is only an offense if it is deemed  “constitutionally unreasonable”.

Abbott sees the addition of this amendment as a  way of avoiding a constitutional fight with the feds, but others will merely see  it as a watering down of the bill since the legislation already makes it clear  that the search is an offense if it is not backed up by “probable cause,” in  other words substantive evidence that a crime is about to be committed that  provides reasonable grounds for the TSA to violate an individual’s 4th Amendment  rights.

Aside from all the constitutional minutia, the  fact is that a police officer, an FBI agent, a park ranger, or anyone else in a  position of authority cannot legally stick their hands down an individual’s  pants without probable cause in any situation, so why should the TSA be any  different?

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Idaho are set to follow  Texas’ lead by resurrecting their own legislation that would ban invasive pat  downs in the state.

“Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, told  IdahoReporter.com said he may address search methods in the next legislative  session, set to begin in January.” “I do plan on revisiting the issue,” said  Hart, who previously attempted to push through a bill that would have limited  the use of naked body scanners in the state last year.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer  for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of  Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones  Show.

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