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Travel Detective: Texas TSA Bill Defies Common Sense

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The Travel Detective isn’t afraid to mess with Texas and its anti-groping legislation. The Travel Detective argues that this is more an issue of common sense than state rights vs. federal rights.

As far as world-class morons go, let’s hear it for the state of Texas. They never cease to amaze me.

There’s still a bill in Texas that would make it a criminal act for any TSA officer or any officer of the law to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly touch a person’s private parts during a security screening. Even more moronic, the governor actually said he is going to consider this bill.

Give me a break. We all know about invasive pat-downs. We all know about people’s concerns about the new body scanning machines in terms of radiation and privacy issues. But, the bottom line is that states cannot supersede federal authority on airport and airline security. It’s silly. Almost as silly, Utah is trying to copy the Texas law.

You know what’s going to happen? It’s going to be dead on arrival. You know why? Because should the legislature pass the law, either in Texas or Utah, and should the governors be stupid enough to sign them, the Department of Justice has already put both states on notice.

Sarcastic Parody of TSA LogoThe Department of Justice will not even go to court to stop it initially. They’re just going to shut down the airports in those two states claiming that they will not be able to provide adequate security for airline passengers, employees, and crews.

This whole idea is little stupid. I happen to think a lot of what happens at the airport is stupid. For years, I’ve said that the TSA stands for “Thousands Standing Around” or “Taking Scissors Away.” But, in this case, they have a right to search you if they have reasonable cause.

And they should perform those searches. Let’s not forget the underwear bomber. Let’s not forget the shoe bomber. Everybody out there who is trying to test the system is trying to test the weakness of the system.

That doesn’t mean that the government shouldn’t employ common sense. From a legal perspective, the bottom line is that this is not a state’s rights versus the federal rights case that the states can win. The feds are going to come down hard on Texas and Utah’s silly flag-raising. Just as they should.

By Peter Greenberg for

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