A Federal No-Fly Zone Over Texas?

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Patrick wasn’t buying it. After admitting legislators changing their minds “happens sometimes,” he reiterated that he had far more votes than the 21 necessary to pass the legislation. “It sometimes happens when you have 21, but not when you have [30],” Patrick said, adding that Dewhurst should have “just told me” and not bothered to bring the bill up at all.

Speaking with Capitol Press Corps members on the Senate floor, Patrick said it wasn’t just the threatening letter which swayed Dewhurst. “Two TSA people” contacted the senator earlier in the day, he revealed. “They told me if we pass this bill, this could close down all the airports in Texas,” he said, also criticizing their last minute efforts to kill the legislation. “They’ve had this entire session to speak out on this issue, and we haven’t heard from the federal government,” he added. Texas newspaper the Star-Telegram disputed that account, saying the TSA had “actively campaigned against the measure for weeks.”

House sponsor Simpson noted in a press release on Thursday that “94 House members from both parties coauthored the bill, and the Senate has registered both a Republican and a Democrat as sponsors.” Simpson went on to dispute the federal government’s contention that the law, if enacted, would have violated the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, which posits that federal law supersedes state law if there is a conflict between the two. Simpson disputed that finding. “The bill clearly states that an agent is exempt from prosecution as long as a constitutionally sanctioned federal law directs them to perform the invasive, indecent groping searches-including touching breasts, sexual organs and buttocks,” he said. He then honed in on the heart of the dispute. “Instead of threatening to shut down flights in Texas, why doesn’t the TSA just show us their statutory authority to grope or ogle our private parts?” he asked.

That sentiment was echoed by Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center who contends the TSA is “lying” with regard to the Supremacy Clause, noting that while federal law does trump state law when the two are in conflict, federal law must be “in pursuance of” the Constitution in order to be valid. Boldin further cites the Virginia Resolution of 1798, in which the states, when faced with “palpable and alarming infractions of the Constitution” by the federal government “are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”

Regarding the over-reach of the TSA, Texas is not alone. On April 12, 2011, the Alaska state legislature sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs requesting an oversight hearing in Alaska on the “TSA’s current practice of conducting pat-down searches and other security procedures on airline passengers.” The letter was engendered by Rep. Sharon Cissna’s (D-Anchorage) personal experience with the TSA. Cissna, a breast cancer survivor, objected to what she believed to be an overly invasive search when TSA screeners in Seattle insisted on examining the area where an electronic body scan revealed her mastectomy scars. Cissna refused and took a boat to Juneau instead.

One suspects that, if more of the political class were subjected to these procedures — and to a significant extent they are not — such people might be inclined to reconsider TSA security procedures. Especially if they were forced to watch those procedures inflicted on their children, just as they were other people’s children here, here, and here.

As for the Lone Star state, the motto “don’t mess with Texas” rings a bit hollow right now. Just as hollow as U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy’s threat to cancel thousands of flights grounding hundreds of thousands of passengers, which would undoubtedly spawn numerous lawsuits from airline companies and anyone else affected. The Texas legislature ends its current session on May 30th. As of now they have no intention of revisiting HB 1937. In the age of Obama, federal thuggery has never been so easy.

Arnold Ahlert is a contributing columnist to the conservative website JewishWorldReview.com.


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  • Cyndy

    Let me see if I got this right…. a CIA operative can be prosecuted criminally and civilly for 'doing his job' with vigor to protect us all, but TSA agents cannot be held accountable for sexually molesting ordinary innocents who had the bad judgement to fly to Tulsa in time fora family funeral or job interview? I could be wrong here, but I think far more evil has been thwarted by waterboarding than by scoring first base with my 12 year old virgin granddaughter in public. We did NOTHING wrong, and yet we cannot fly without neccessitating the need for legal representation when a certified perv feels me or my grandchildren up. Since when is buying a plane ticket a crime which makes me and my companions terrorist suspects? Either Government employees are held accountable or they are not. You don't get to shuffle the deck everytime you don't like the cards! The rest of us out here REALLY counted on Texas to get the ball rolling. We have long looked up to the Texan mentality to stand up to the bullies and help us up to our feet so we could fight with them. I guess we were wrong. Too bad.

    • Paul

      I guess you can mess with Texas if you are the Obama DOJ

    • twinelm

      Yes, Cyndy, I am bitterly disappointed in my state, particularly Dewhurst. He can plead ignorance all he wants, but HE ORCHESTRATED THIS WITH THE FEDS. Believe me, we Texans WILL NOT FORGET this humiliation of kowtowing to bully tactics. That is NOT our character as a state…

    • Larry G


  • Richard_Iowa

    Go ahead – suspend all air travel in and out of Texas. See how that works out for ya. Amazing how far the government will go to ensure the right to molest the American public, especially children.

    • PhillipGaley

      I think that, they're bluffing.
      Quite simply, what if—after an adjustment period—Texas leapt forward like gangbusters? Then where would the child-molester types, be—how would they scrape the crap off their faces?

  • AlgerHiss

    Since when did the DOJ have any authority to shut down air traffic? Just because thay say they can doesn't mean it's true.

    Hell, what prevents the city council of Paducah, Kentucky from doing the same thing?

    • coyote3

      You have a point. Just because some agency of the federal government says something, doesn't make it so. I don't believe the DOJ has any jurisdiction, whatsoever, in this issue. What might be interesting is that if a number of other states enact similar laws regarding TSA. Even the FAA, wouldn't suspend air travel nationwide, and that is what they would have to do. We wouldn't need "all" of the states to do it, just enough that the "no fly" could not be isolated.

  • plebis

    More criminal threats from our dictator in waiting, the insufferable egoist Obama. This sort of thuggery is expected from a man who is America’s enemy. Those jug ears and grin conceal a hatred for America.

  • StephenD

    All of this is the result of us trying desperately to be Politically Correct and not wanting to offend certain people. I'm sorry but PROFILING WORKS! We should be emulating Israel’s processes. Their system works. But no, in order not to wrinkle anyone’s collar we search baby’s' diapers or granny’s undergarments because, after all, we are fair! What nonsense!

  • tagalog

    1. Doesn't the government's interest in a public easement interfering with private ownership of the airspace above one's land exist for the public benefit as a kind of public trust? If the U.S. Department of Justice mandates the U.S. Dept. Transportation to forbid air travel over Texas, isn't that a violation of the public trust? 2. What requirement exists for airlines landing in Texas to have to land at some given airport? If you can't disembark passengers at Dallas-Fort Worth, Love Field or whatever, what stops airplanes from landing in some other airport nearby?

    Screw the government when they pull stunts like this; they're just bluffing. We should call their bluff EVERY TIME!!!

  • WilliamJamesWard

    I refuse to fly while these intrusions to my privacy continue. Profiling is all that
    is necessary, doing it the way Israel does will end our problem for the most
    part. Our greatest problem is the Obama administration, until they are out
    of office America will continue to be a land of continual crises without any
    stop towards our ultimate failure as a Nation which is Obamas goal…………William

  • Angel

    What would happen if we tell this SOB's stuff it and brutally and with total abandomen we simply ignore the Federal Government?

    • http://FrontPageMag Jon Enigma

      I don’t know the answer but……. I’m looking forward to finding out. Vegas odds [545 to 1] are that we would be better off !

  • PhillipGaley

    But, the article's first sentence: "Proving that the extortionist tendencies of the Obama administration aren't limited to the NLRB’s suit against Boeing, . . .".

    In effect, the NLRB movement appertains to the kind of thing where—in speaking for Boeing—the company officer says what is tantamount by extrapolation: "Yeah, I'm moving out because, I just really don't like some things about marriage.", failing to have apprehended of the fact that, while, in one way or another, he might move away, in order not to suffer penalty for arbitrariness, unreasonableness, retaliation, and so on, things have to be stepwise, and in order; and simply because, marriage partners have special rights, and so do those parties who may be signatory to labor agreements, . . .

    • al1

      one fly in the ointment of your argument: Boeing has ADDED 2,000 union jobs in their WA shop since attempting to move part of their operations to SC. All bad marriages should have it so good.

      • jonhartz

        You actually understood what he said??

  • RJR

    How refreshing it would be to see a Texas Republican actually stand up for what they believe! No fly zone over Texas would be the end of Obama presidential 2012 dream.

    • Jason

      Excellent point. We've got a soviet style bully in the white house. Texas is the perfect state to give him the finger.

  • Dave

    If the federal government wants to be taken seriously; they need to consider the possibility of unintended consequences – TX certainly matters to them in 2012

  • Bobby

    Plain and simple way to get the TSA in line is to remind them that Texas refines most of their jet fuel…If we don't fly, they won't either. Enough said.

  • waterwillows

    it is sad to see the powers of the Oval Office in the hands of some third rate bully boys. They act like America is some kind of banana republic, complete with the reigning despot.
    Let's face it. The democrats simply are not up to snuff for the world stage.
    I suspect they have been way too long on the slippery slopes of delusion and deception. And too deep in the mire to understand they need correction.
    Nor will they listen.

  • Tomate

    There is more than one way to get the TSA to act with common sence… Perhaps the Texas approch is not the best way to go about it.

    I kind of like the idea of a state law requiring all TSA screeners to be virgins.

  • Rifleman

    It's my understanding the Israelis concentrate on finding terrorists, rather than weapons.

  • Mike Smitty

    These TSA agents have been known to search white toddlers and grannys with all the groping and an Arab standing in line is let through without even being touched. What is wrong with this picture-we need to stop being politically correct and start using good ol' common sense. All Arabs and any Palistinian needs to be well searched while those of us who are white and don't desire an end to our country or call it the great Satan, should be respected and treated like Americans who love our country but don't want to be treated like we are Satan.

  • Doug

    You are ignorant if you think Israelis stoop to groping infants and children to identify terrorist. They profile passengers and use intelligence gathering along with effective security measures at the airport.

    The Israelis laugh at our methods.

    • tanstaafl

      Doug, I'm saying the same thing you are. We are constantly being told that "everyone" must be searched because "it wouldn't be fair" to single out one group.

      I agree completely that the Israelis laugh at our methods.

  • jsl55

    How about having every man wear a dirty sheet as a robe and a rag on his head, and the women can wear face shielding veils? If they try to search you scream "religious freedom" and have a scumbag lawyer file a lawsuit.

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  • http://www.mydesignskylights.com/ austin

    Oh yeah, I remember this, it was fairly entertaining. It was interesting to see the republicans in Texas stand up for something worthwhile for once.