Texas anti-TSA-grope bill killed by threat to shut down all Texas airports

It looks like the Texas bill to make it illegal to perform TSA-style grope-searches without suspicion is dead, thanks to TSA officials who promised to shut down Texas airports if the bill went through.

House Bill 1937, which was passed by the House earlier this month, would make it a misdemeanor offense for a federal security agent to "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly [touch] the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of the other person, including touching through clothing, or touching the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person."

Two TSA officials visited Patrick at the Capitol earlier today to discuss the legislation. They warned him that the legislation "could close down all the airports in Texas," he said. After their departure, U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy sent a letter to Speaker of the House Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst saying the bill would "conflict directly with federal law" and that if it became law, "TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of passengers and crew" until the agency could seek a court order stopping the measure from being carried out.

Fed Threat Shuts Down TSA "Groping" Bill in Texas

(Thanks, Xeni!)

(Image: Groped by TSA, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from chunkysalsa's photostream)

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