Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Texas Senate Passes TSA Anti-Groping Law

The Texas senate today passed a slightly watered down version of the TSA anti-groping law. 
The senate changed wording allowing searches only for "reasonable suspicion" vs the original "probable cause".
While Alex Jones threw a protest rally over the wording change, it is clear that mandatory TSA screening is not "reasonable suspicion", and would be outlawed under the new law.
The Texas house must now agree to the changes made by the senate. The house tentatively approved the changes during a voice vote this afternoon.

From The Texas Tribune:
The Senate passed its version of the TSA "anti-groping" bill tonight. Meanwhile, the House version is still alive — and significantly changed. The House tentatively approved it on a voice vote this afternoon.

Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, the author of the bill, added a “clarifying” amendment to address the concerns of the Attorney General. He said the amendment reorders the wording of the section about private parts, adds a reasonable defense clause, and a provision to salvage the bill should it be ruled unconstitutional in the courts.
Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Houston, also offered an amendment to change the language of the bill from “probable cause” to “reasonable suspicion” — a lower standard for law enforcement to search someone. 
“All law enforcement wanted it to be reasonable suspicion, instead of probable cause,” said Fletcher. The Supreme Court ruled peace officers have the right to search based on reasonable suspicion, rather than probable cause, in the 1968 case Terry vs. Ohio. “The bill is [applicable to] public buildings, court houses and facilities, so we wanted our peace officers to be held accountable only to what the Supreme Court has already ruled is applicable to law enforcement,” he said.

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