States Challenge TSA Pat Downs

May 23, 2011

States throughout the nation are beginning to challenge TSA pat down searches in the wake of some controversial incidents. The Texas legislature has proposed legislation that would ban Transportation Security Administration agents from performing searches on certain parts of a person’s body. The bill, known as the Anti-Groping Bill, has already passed the Texas house, and is awaiting State Senate approval.

HB1937 makes it a crime to “purposefully, knowingly or recklessly touch a person’s anus, sexual organ and breasts, even through clothing.”

The Texas State House seems to be reacting to recent highly publicized accounts of TSA searches.

Here’s a video of a six-year-old girl being searched:

Here’s Former Miss USA Susie Castillo’s video describing her feelings about TSA agents touching her genitalia during a pat-down:

So far, eight other States have proposed similar legislation.

The Transportation Security Administration is taking the position that any attempt by individual States to control TSA security procedures would be an unconstitutional violation of The Supremacy Clause . Read the TSA’s take on this issue here.

The TSA Web Site contains a page called Civil Rights For Travelers. In it, the TSA claims that it is “committed to making each traveler’s screening experience as pleasant and smooth as possible. We are also committed to treating each traveler with dignity and respect throughout the screening process.”

Citizens who believe they have had their rights violated by a TSA employee may file a complaint in the manner set forth on the site.

Meanwhile, my admittedly informal survey of the blogosphere seems to indicate that there’s not a lot of support for the TSA argument.  Read this post from Lonestar Watchdog. It won’t be hard to guess where TSA Tyranny comes down on this issue,

Texas Legislature: Anti-groping bill would limit airport pat downs – El Paso Times.


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