TSA Pat-down Bill is Dead – For Now
Texas lawmakers adjourned their special session Wednesday without passing a ban on Transportation Security Administration pat-downs, to the dismay of staunch conservative critics of the agency.
The bill, which would have criminalized touching passengers’ genitalia during hand searches at airport security checkpoints, had already been watered down by the Texas Senate.
The Senate revisions were added to the House version, but the chamber adjourned without taking a vote on the revised bill it had already passed.
The bill’s House sponsor, Republican David Simpson of Longview, vowed he will try again in the next regular session in 2013. “We will never give up the fight for liberty,” he said on his Facebook page.
House Democrats are happy to see the bill fail. Garnet Coleman of Houston accused Republicans of posturing and pandering for political gain, saying “It’s disconcerting that we spent the last moments of the special session attempting to take a petty political swing at our president.”
TSA says the state law would be unconstitutional because the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution says federal law trumps state law.
The U.S. Attorney General threatened to cancel all flights into Texas if the bill passed.