Constitution Watch: The Touchy-Feely TSA

For the past year, air travelers have had to go through the misery and tension that are TSA screenings. For some that meant one of two options: going through a full body scan, or getting fondled by administrators. Either method subjects the traveller to invasive searches that both violate one’s natural right to privacy, and the 4th amendment prevented illegal search and seizure by the government. Thankfully, there are now people that are doing something about these unnecessary and improper security measures, especially in the wake of some really ridiculous moments.

The most obvious of the challenges to the TSA is the anti-groping legislation working its way through the Texas State Legislature. Initially one of the strongest anti-TSA measures, it was held up after the TSA threatened to close all the airports in Texas if the bill passed, citing that it couldn’t guarantee the safety of passengers if it were prevented from doing its job the same way in all areas, and the supremacy clause in the Constitution prevents states from meddling in the affairs of a federal agency. While they have an argument that the constitution prevents states from interfering with federal duties, if that federal duty is inherently unconstitutional, do the states not have a right to challenge or nullify it? Also worthy of note, the pat-down is an alternative to the full body X-ray that is used, and even though the X-ray might be as bad if not worse than a pat down, it could just be used as the sole privacy-violating security measure. So there is no reason other than a federal agency trying to lord its authority over the states that this threat was made, and sets a bad precedent for what the federal government can get away with unchallenged. More at

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