Texas TSA Bill Succumbs to Squabbling

As Jesse Walker noted this morning, the Texas bill aimed at protecting airline passengers from sexual assault by the TSA, which was revived by Gov. Rick Perry in a special legislative session, is dead again. Here is the Tenth Amendment Center's account of what happened:

On Tuesday evening, the Texas Senate ignored an amended House bill that lowered the threshold TSA agents would have to meet  from "probable cause" to "reasonable suspicion" and passed its own version of the anti-groping legislation (SB29) 19-11. Senators promptly adjourned, leaving representatives just one day to consider the legislation.

The House passed the second reading of the Senate bill 106-27, with 16 representatives absent Wednesday morning.

But with the end of the special session looming, House members had to vote to suspend the Texas Constitution’s three day reading rule and allow a second vote on SB29 later in the day. Several representatives left after the second reading, and the vote to suspend the rules fell short of the 4/5 majority needed on a 96-26 vote.

Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview), the bill's main sponsor in the House, promises to try again. The Tenth Amendment Center notes that legislators in Utah and Pennsylvania are considering similar bills. Previous coverage of the Texas bill here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Disappointed!

  • ||

    Are you surprised? Of course they caved.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Probably got a visit from Obama's enforcers...

    "Nice state house you have here. Be a real shame if some kind of... accident happened to it."

  • ||

    But I'm talking about Texas!

  • OO||

    random screening does NOT require suspicion or cause.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    As if you'd be defending this if Bush was still in office.

  • OO||

    regardless of the prez, i dont feel patdowns are a big deal. bottom line is fat people dont want to be reminded that they're fat & are embarrassed

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OO,

    regardless of the prez, i dont feel patdowns are a big deal.


    No, of course you wouldn't! *Wink* *Wink*

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OO,

    random screening does NOT require suspicion or cause.


    You seem to be the reincarnation of Yogi Berra, except not as witty.

  • GroundTruth||

    One more case where precedent and stare decisis should not be given so much weight. The Constitution says nothing about 'but random screening is ok', it says "no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause".

    A plane ticket is NOT probable cause!

  • GSL||

    Disappointing, but that sounds more like a temporary hiccup than a serious problem for the bill.

  • ||

    haha, if you think anyone in the senate will remember this bill 2 years from now (when the texas legislature meets again), I'd be surprised.

  • Sinic||

    Why can't they just put some Texas Rangers at the airport and arrest any overzealous TSA agents for sexual assault? Why would they have to pass a separate law for that?

  • ||

    That involves acutally doing something, not just lip service that one can use in their campaign.

  • P B||

    I was hoping it would pass just to see if Presidential candidate Perry would sign it or not

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I suspect that some legislative leaders want to relieve Governor Perry of that particular dilemma.

  • P B||

    That was the only reason it was part of the special session, Perry had to have known that it would never pass. That is why Dewurst jumped in and killed it before it passed in the regular session.

  • ||

    Does anybody know if they have to do that cleavage check on back titties with fat chicks?

  • Almanian||

    *barf*

  • Mainer||

    thank you

  • West Texas||

    Unfortunately, this session of the legislature has disenchanted me on state-level politics. There's a LOT of stuff that went down in this session - not just this law - that was very popular statewide but didn't get past some of the career politicians who apparently consider themselves the guardians of reasonableness and decency against the rabble that is the electorate. I thought we had fewer of those types of politicians here in Texas, but apparently we have our fair share and they control the state senate.

  • Seer||

    Speaking of stupid state politics, Michigan's legislature is trying to restrict the growing of marijuana in the state despite the large majority of citizens who voted for the medicinal marijuana law.

  • ||

    I was very interested during a couple of trips to Austin for some light lobbying, to hear senior/establishment Republicans positively sneering with contempt for the "Tea Partiers" and the new crop of legislators they elected.

  • ||

    We tend to ridicule that which frightens us.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Like "free speech" your right not to have your children sexually molested by a government jackass while you're trying to board your flight is not without its limits.

    Sexual molestation is necessary to prevent the next 9/11!!!!

  • GroundTruth||

    "Better to die free than live a slave"... Not quit as catchy as "better dead than red", but just a clear.

  • juris imprudent||

    Don't mess with Texas, sorta.

  • Almanian||

    Mess with Texas - you need not fear any repercussion. There will be none.

    While we're at it, "Forget the Alamo!"

  • Tolly||

    States revolting against the Fed?
    Faster, please.

    Maybe then we can hear more weaselly justification from Pistole or Obama as to why it's urgent that a bunch of govt slobs should sexually manhandle old ladies, infants and innocent travelers. Or maybe they can roll it into being a prelim checkup for national healthcare?

    Hope & Change!

  • AlmightyJB||

    "States revolting against the fed" will quickly become states getting back in line once federal dollars stop.

  • West Texas||

    Unfortunately, this is the truth: see drinking age laws and some of the bribery surrounding medicaid and healthcare.

    I blame the 16th and 17th amendments. The former funded the slush fund and the latter institutionalized its use.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Maybe once people realize that giving all of that money and power to a centralized bureaucracy makes them completely powerless they'll catch on. Yeah, that was a joke in case you weren't sure.

  • sarcasmic||

    Innocent travelers?

    Everyone is a terrorist until they prove they are not.

    Guilty until proven innocent.

  • rather||

    I'm not 100% that this bill will pass but it is a warning to the TSA, and I expect other states to give their own.

    I am certain the lightbulb issue will pass. Texans don't like federal interference in their own homes

  • Old Mexican||

    By the way, the Houston Chronicle is crying out loud because (wait for it): Texas is not spending enough.

  • Almanian||

    Why does Texas hate the children?

    OM, it's so good to hear from you again!

  • rather||

    I'm not sure it is the 'real' him. OM hasn't argued to death with anyone!
    I surmise he was kidnapped by authentic aliens and replicated for the purpose of studying libertarians.

    Get the fuck off my planet OM, this is my territory.

    I'm thinking of writing scifi ;-)

  • West Texas||

    Texas is not spending enough.

    There's a lot of that going around. There are many Texas lefties who think that we're all going to hell because the legislature won't/didn't spend every penny it can.

    For instance, a couple of months ago the big talk was about how the state was going to cut funding for local school districts and therefore local school districts would be - gasp! - forced to lay off teachers. Not the bloated administrative staff, no sir. Just the teachers.

    For these chumps the state's balanced budget requirement isn't a feature, it's a bug.

    I sure am glad we don't live in California! Why can't we be more like California?

  • WTF||

    I sure am glad they're protecting us by molesting children and cancer-stricken grannies.

  • Spencer||

    Any Texans interested (really of the DFW variety only) we're hosting a meeting of Liberty on the Rocks- Fort Worth at Ye Olde Bull and Bush on Thursday, July 7th at 8pm. Feel free to come drink (on your own dime), bitch, and comiserate.

  • Jim||

    I'm on vacation that week, and just may swing out there. Of course, it's kind of slumming to leave Dallas and go to Ft. Worth ; )

  • Spencer||

    damnit. commiserate, not comiserate.

  • CE||

    Just vote to secede already, and send in the Texas Rangers (not the baseball team) to escort any TSA agents who report to a Texas airport off the premises.

  • Jim||

    ...why wouldn't we send the baseball team, as well? I think Hamilton would intimidate some TSA agents with his mega-bat.

  • Spencer||

    Ogando could be just wild enough to scare a TSA agent from crowding my plate, if you know what I mean ;);)

  • ||

    random screening does NOT require suspicion or cause.

    Its right there in the Constitution:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized, unless, of course, the government is acting randomly, because fuck you.

  • JD the Elder||

    +10 to that. I was just thinking about the absurdity of random searches in the first place. How did that whole bit of legal wizardry get through in the first place? What did that argument look like?
    "Can we just search people we don't like?"
    "No, because you have to have a warrant or probable cause, and 'we don't like the looks of you' doesn't count. Doing that would be gross discrimination."
    "How about if we just search some people at random? Then it's not discriminatory, right?"

    Now, in a sane world, that argument would be met with a blank stare and a repetition of the bit about probable cause or a warrant, except slower and using smaller words.

  • squishua||

    "Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair!"
    -The Joker

    Nice to see that national security policy borrows from the philosophy of comic book villains.

  • cynical||

    Their policies in general seem to be geared toward watching the world burn.

  • ||

    ""against unreasonable searches and seizures,""

    Too many people believe this kind of search is reasonable given they still wet their pants about the boogieman. My guess is that SCOTUS would agree, regardless if I like it or not.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Ya know, I realize it is a commomn joke but I am starting to think a few Barret 50s and some SKSs (sorry, my preference) and moving to Somalia is not such a bad idea...I mean ROADZ!!1! and all.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I'm sure everyone here would blend.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement