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Final Showdown For TSA Groping Bill

By Paul Joseph Watson | | June 29, 2011

The final showdown for the TSA groping bill is set to take center stage in the Texas House today, with the Senate version of the bill up for a vote as the special session of the legislature hurtles towards its deadline at midnight tonight.

However, despite reports that the wording of the House bill will be identical to Senator Dan Patrick’s SB 29, which while significantly weakened, does offer some token resistance to TSA abuse, Patrick himself wrote on his Facebook last night that the House has refused to accept his bill.

“Instead they passed a Resolution speaking out on TSA policy,” complained Patrick, referring to a toothless proclamation that merely calls on Congress at the national level to “ensure acceptable treatment of the public by personnel of the Transportation Security Administration”.

Meanwhile, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that “The measure that will be up for a vote today is Patrick’s Senate-passed measure,” contradicting Patrick’s own statement.

Whatever the language of the final House version, if there is to be a House version at all, Rep. David Simpson will need 120 members out of a 150 member House to show up and vote in favor of the bill, which is certainly not a given considering the fact that lawmakers went AWOL last week for the first scheduled hearing of the bill.

“I’m encouraged, and we’ll see where people are tomorrow,” Simpson said after the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee voted 7-1 to advance the bill to the House floor.

However, the Associated Press reports that political partisanship could derail the bill completely. “49 Democrats may vote against the bill because supporters characterize it as defying Obama Administration policies,” states the article, adding that Simpson may fail to achieve 120 out of 150 votes.

While acknowledging the concerns of cynics who point out that SB 29 virtually authorizes the TSA to continue business as usual, the lobby group TSA Tyranny explains how Patrick’s bill, which is stronger than the amendment-stuffed version concocted as a result of Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s efforts to sabotage the process, is marginally better than no bill at all.

We submit to you that, while imperfect, this bill defends your liberties on at least three fronts:

1. SB 29 makes it illegal for a TSA agent or agents to perform an enhanced pat-down without either your express permission or reasonable suspicion of the presence of an object.

2. SB 29 makes it illegal for the TSA to fine you if you refuse to participate in their enhanced pat-down after entering the screening process.

3. SB 29 affords sanctions against a TSA agent or agents who conduct themselves in a way contrary to this statute.

Critics have addressed these presumed benefits by pointing out that “reasonable suspicion” of a prohibited object could be met if the individual refuses to go through a naked body scanner or sets off a metal detector, and that the TSA would simply bar you from flying if you refused a pat down.

The battle in Texas to uphold the Constitution and stop the advance of the TSA, which is now turning into a literal occupying army as the country sinks into a decaying banana republic, will draw to a close at midnight tonight, but the wider war to restore eviscerated liberties will continue to rage.


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