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Texas Lawmakers Again Move to Criminalize TSA Patdowns

April 10, 2013 at 5:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

As they'll be more than glad to tell you (at length) Texans are a freedom loving people. However sometimes however ardor for personal liberty goes a little farther than what good sense, or political reality, or federal law might advise. This is one of those times.

You'll recall that in March 2011 we openly ridiculed Texas lawmakers for introducing a series of bills that would have criminalized various TSA measures, from invasive pat-downs to full-body scans. We called the entire spectacle a "publicity stunt" and predicted that it would quickly die. Within a few weeks, and for a wide range of reasons, it had indeed died. Then a year later Rep. David Simpson of Longview introduced a bill that would have merely criminalized "inappropriate touching" by TSA. It too, predictably, failed to become a real thing.

Apparently now it's back. Rep. Simpson seems to believe that travel politics bloggers don't have enough easy content, and he's eager to help. God bless Rep. Simpson. The rest of you should be following his example and hooking us up, rather than scoffing and rolling your eyes like you're obviously doing right now.

The new bill is a little more narrow than previous iterations. This one would only criminalize the intentional inappropriate touching of travelers' private parts. We have no idea how that standard is evaluated legally.

Luckily—since this legislation will never, ever, ever become a law—we don't really feel the need to investigate. Whatever adults are left in Austin know better than to pass a bill that would lead either to a resounding court beatdown (since federal rules arguably trump state law) or to the federal government simply suspending airline service to Texas (at which point the law would be rolled back anyway). From a blogging perspective it would actually be better for us if Texas went ahead and passed the bill . We're not hopeful though.

We couldn't find anything from this week about Simpson's publicity stunt. Here's coverage from the last time we played this game. You know what didn't happen? TSA procedures getting criminalized.

You know what won't happen this time either? Yeah.

[Photo: GreggGOP / YouTube]

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