February 8, 2012
Though the Republican presidential debates have garnered much of the media spotlight of late, controversies such as those surrounding the Transportation Safety Administration are still very much alive. And one man who is determined to keep up the battle against the TSA’s unconstitutional overreach is Texas State Rep. David Simpson, who has just filed for reelection. If elected to the 2013 biennial legislature, he has promised to reintroduce his signature bill from the 2011 session, the anti-groping Traveler Dignity Act.
Simpson, who nearly brought down the TSA’s authority in the Lone Star State last year, has never let go of the issue. His 2011 bill enjoyed wildly popular support among Texans, and initially, 100-percent approval in both houses of the legislature. However, as reported at the time by The New American‘s Alex Newman:
[the act], which would have made TSA agents liable for sexual assault when groping passengers without probable cause, was pulled from the Senate floor after the Department of Justice sent aletter threatening to create what critics called a “no-fly zone” over the state by preventing flights to or from Texas airports. The legislation … sailed through the Texas House earlier … with a unanimous vote. It was then sent to the state Senate.
But before Texas senators had a chance to vote on the legislation, U.S. Attorney John Murphy sent high-ranking state officials a stark warning: Kill the bill or else.
The bill eventually failed in the Senate through the use of a procedural maneuver.
Simpson has emphasized that his legislation is about much more than TSA abuses:
The fundamental issue, a bigger issue is that it’s about the constitution. Are we going to allow the agency to just implement procedures on its own say-so? It was freedom, not force that built this country. …
The abandonment of constitutional protections is all around us. … The TSA is trying to appear reasonable, but they want to get us used to being treated like criminals. Instead of protecting liberty and freedom of movement, they are restricting it.
This article was posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 4:25 am