Friday, May 13, 2011

Get ready to RUMBLE!

Texas is one step closer to a showdown with the TSA:

AUSTIN, Tex (Reuters) – The Texas House of Representatives late on Thursday approved a bill that would make invasive pat-downs at Texas airports a crime, after a former Miss USA said she felt "molested" at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport last month.

Transportation Security Administration agents could be charged with a misdemeanor crime, face a $4,000 fine and one year in jail under the measure.
I'm told by someone who would know (he's a lawyer) that this is an open and shut case: Federal Preemption prohibits this sort of thing.  Me, I don't think this is a legal issue so much as a political one.  First of all, this hasn't become law (yet):
The bill needs a final vote from the House before it would go to the Senate.
So this is like the rattlesnake, shaking its tail.  In a very real and literal sense, it's saying "do not touch".

But if the TSA wants to fight this one, good damn luck to them:
The proposal would classify any airport inspection that "touches the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person including through the clothing, or touches the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person" as an offense of sexual harassment under official oppression.
The history of this Republic is filled with examples of laws that juries refused to respect.  The preemption law here looks to be very likely in line with that sentiment.  A quick Youtube search for "tsa gropes toddler" returns an astonishing number of videos.  Th ecourt of public opinion has already ruled, and it's ruled against the TSA.

We know that the ruling is in, because we see the political game playing out.  The Texas Legislature is moving towards passing a law criminalizing TSA standard procedure.  The politicians are weighing public sentiment, and it's running against the TSA.

And if that continues, and the law passes, it simply doesn't matter what the settled case law is.  If the Legislature passes what turns out to be a popular law, and an Imperial Federal Government tries to get the court system to over turn it during an election year, there's a non-trivial chance that Governor Perry will take the Andrew Jackson stance:
The Supreme Court has issued its ruling.  Now let it enforce it.
It is said that we are a nation of laws, not men.  The real danger of this Administration's regulatory overreach is that it will cause precisely this sort of popular vs. legal fracture.  If Supreme Court precedent means that 6 year old girls are going to have their panties groped by Federal Agents, then the public will start to view Supreme Court precedent in the same light as they currently view the TSA.

Me, I don't think that it will get to that.  First of all, the Obama Administration has no guts, and will get rolled by any real, spirited opposition.  In other words, this is a good bet for the Texas Legislature to make.

Secondly, if it does get to the Supreme Court, there's considerable precedent on how this sort of thing plays out.  It's been said - truthfully - that the Supreme Court reads the Election Returns.

Me, I'm getting the popcorn.  This is fixin' to be fun.


Southern Belle said...

Hehe... I can tell you're settling into Texas just fine these days. You say 'fixin', you are an honorary Texan.


Josh Kruschke said...

I love lawyers (not really sigh....) 10th amendment anyone.


FYI. I'm working on a strarting a new blog. I'll send you the link when it's ready, so you can check it out.

Matt said...


Borepatch said...

Thank you kindly, Miss Belle!


kx59 said...

That's Mrs. Belle. And she does have a crush on you. If you haven't noticed, she changed her pic on the blog. Looks an awful rifley a lot like yours.
all joking aside, we'll get up to Austin for a blogshoot before your gig there is done.

kx59 said...

oh, I out'ed her. She changed it back. snork, heh.
on a more serious note, this is going to go nowhere, but the trend that is emerging is that the states are starting to assert their rights, which hasn't happened since the days of the founding fathers. They were very wise men. There haven't been any such since then. There has never in the history of this planet been a country set up with a government as they envisioned. They were either divinely inspired, or divine intervention was at hand.
We were given liberty, it is up to us to hold on to it.

Southern Belle said...

Sorry but I have to disagree.

Liberty is not something that's given, while it's something that we all deserve, it's something that is also earned and something that we have to constantly fight to keep.

Those who lose sight of that, are destined to lose liberty.

Borepatch said...

kx59, heh. All I can say that you (and I) married up.

Your (and Belle's) comments on Liberty are spot on. If the MSM looked for "green shoots" of emerging Federalism like they look for "green shoots" of an emerging economic recovery, we'd be in full-bore State's Rights mode right now.

But dang if I'm not seeing those shoots sprouting up.

Anonymous said...

I second Ms Belle's comment on retaining Liberty.
Here in Indiana, our Supreme Court just ruled that Indiana residents have no legal right to resist a police officer illegally forcing their way into your home - 4th Amendment be damned.
They actually state that an individual's right are less important that a police officer's safety.
Of course, the fact that in the past year (according to new's accounts) we've had one officer kill a motorcyclist while driving drunk on duty (blood test confirmed it, but the arresting officers took him to a clinic such that the court doesn't accept the results), another officer wrecked his car while on drugs, another extorted cash during traffic stops and another that followed an employee out of a gentleman's club and tried to get some.
uh... does Texas need any more engineers?

Southern Belle said...

You know, I bet that Texas could always use good engineers. What field? I know that if it's construction we could use good MEP engineers.

though my better half (regardless of what Borepatch says, he is MY better half all the way) is an architect and might be able to shed light on the subject better than I can.

Anonymous said...

I'm a mechanical engineer, but not construction. Twenty years total - half in automotive manufacturing and the rest in pharma quality.
Indiana's not a terrible place to live, but allergy season is nasty.

Broken Andy said...

What's the Federal law that pre-empts this Texas bill? "Any employee of the Federal govt can grope."? I don't think so. It is likely that any covering, existing Federal statute simply says that Federal law enforcement cannot be tried by the States for carrying out their duties. However, TSA are not law enforcement... at least not the gropers. That's why they always have to call in the local PD when something real happens.

Teke said...

Wow my head must have been up my arse to miss this one.

Time to make sure we get this one in. Then get a large bucket of popcorn and a coke to enjoy the show. This sounds like Obama would treat us like AZ in the immigration stuff. But hell he already shuns us anyway.

Jehu said...

I'm pretty hostile to the federal government at this point. If I'm on a jury involving them on pretty much anything, well, let's just say they'll NEVER meet their standard of 'reasonable doubt' in my estimation. Call it wholesale jury nullification brought about by a crisis of legitimacy for the system as a whole. When 10% or so of the population feels as I do on this, the legal system is done.