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Anti-TSA Groping Bill killed in Texas by DOJ
RWB News: In a stunning eleventh-hour play, the DOJ has done it again in bullying and threatening a U.S. state into complying to their wishes. I interviewed the author of HB 1937, Tx. Rep. David Simpson, just as his first-ever bill was dying. Please support freshman Congressman Simpson in any way you can–send him a letter or call his office offering encouragement and support. He put up a good “David” fight, but the DOJ–in their Goliath way–won this round.
Original Article By: Patriot Update
The Department of “Justice” strikes again–this time, they waited until the final hour to all but kill the proposed Texas anti-groping bill, HB 1937.
HB 1937 would have made it a misdemeanor for TSA personnel to touch “the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person including through the clothing.” The penalties for violating HB 1937 would have included a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
I spoke to the bill’s author Texas Representative David Simpson in a telephone interview just moments before the bill died. The freshman congressman, who had introduced HB 1937 as his first bill, sounded extremely weary when telling me at approximately 3:15 PST that his bill was “all but over” and that he was exhausted from the fight.
In a move that has become very familiar, the Department of Justice waited until the last possible moment to distribute a letter which can only be considered economic blackmail. The letter basically said that if HB 1937 passed, the DOJ would shut down all Texas airlines.
Part of the more threatening section of the letter stated:
“If HR [sic] 1937 were enacted, the federal government would likely seek an emergency stay of the statute. Unless or until such a stay were granted, 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.
We urge that you consider the ramifications of this bill before casting your vote.”
“It was lies,” said Rep. Simpson. “They deliberately delayed the letter until the last minute. We had 30 people supporting it until the letter and then 12 people backed off just before the final vote.”
From Rep. Simpson’s website he wrote, “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? All that HB 1937 does is require that the TSA abide by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.”
Simpson continued on his site, “We aren’t even prohibiting the pat-downs, per se. We’re just saying you can’t go straight to third base. You have to have a reason-you have to have probable cause-before groping someone’s sexual organs.”
Rep. Simpson told me, “It was a Gonzalez moment” (referring to the first battle of the Texas Revolution against Mexico 175 years ago, ‘when a small band of Texans stood in defiance of Gonzalez, turning back the attempt to deprive them of their weapon of defense, a single cannon.’)
On his website, he wrote:
“…we find ourselves at such a watershed moment today. The federal government is attempting to deprive the citizens of Texas of their constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 9, of the Texas Constitution. If we do not stand up for our citizens in the face of this depravation of their personal rights and dignity, who will?
Time is critical. If the bill does not pass the Senate tonight [Tuesday], it may very well be dead until the next legislative session. Meanwhile, our wives, our children, our mothers and grandmothers, will be rudely violated by federal employees out of control.”
And then, HB 1937 died.
“We thought Governor Perry would step up more than he did but he just didn’t act on it. But then again our Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst was also against it. It’s just regrettable,” Simpson said, his voice starting to sound hoarse.
(Note to my fellow Texans: Remember the name Lt. Governor David Dewhurst when reelection time comes around…)
I asked Rep. Simpson why he was so passionate about the TSA/sexual groping issue and for a moment he didn’t sound quite as tired when citing several cases in which the TSA has overstepped their “security” boundaries.
“We have case after case with people who’ve been unreasonably touched at airports,” Simpson said, including testimony from a young autistic boy who was so upset he started yelling while being touched.
The issue became even more personal for Representative Simpson when his own teenage daughter was scheduled to fly.
“It was right when they were putting in the scanners and starting to enforce the pat-downs,” he said. “We’d already booked her flight and couldn’t get out of it.” Luckily, his daughter was able to avoid the scanners and private touching—but this lit the fire that led Rep. Simpson to author HB 1937.
“Where does it stop?” he asked. “What if terrorists start putting things inside their bodies? What happens to us then?”
I asked Rep. Simpson if the bill can be re-written and re-introduced; unfortunately he said the last day for session ended today (May 25th). The next session starts in 2012.
Although he’s very tired today, I know Representative David Simpson isn’t giving up his fight anytime soon. The young Freshman Congressman from East Texas may have seen the thuggery that happens in Mr. Obama’s Department of Justice first-hand–but this hasn’t deterred him in the least.
As he wrote on his website, “Someone must make a stand against the atrocities of our government agents. As Reagan said, ‘If not us, who? And if not now, when?’”
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’d like to add that if you are as frustrated about this as I am, there are things we can do. Several other states are trying to pass their own anti-groping/TSA laws (a few include Idaho, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire). If you live in these states, call your local and state Congressmen and tell them you support their anti-groping bill. Make them hear you! Freshmen Representatives like David Simpson may be the Davids to the DOJ’s Goliaths—but something much more powerful than a rock is our VOTE and our congressmen know this full-well these days. I also recommend you call Governor Rick Perry’s office right now. Let them know you continue to support bills like HB 1937 and that you are also disappointed with Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for helping to defeat it. Gov. Perry’s telephone number is: 512-463-2000. I’ve tried to locate the names of the 12 Texas Congressmen who caved in to the DOJ’s threats; I haven’t found them yet, but as soon as I do, I will update this report. A-MM)
Ann-Marie Murrell is a columnist for RWB News. She is also an exclusive columnist for Patriot Update and writes feature columns for Michael Reagan’s Reagan Report and more. Click here to follow Ann-Marie on Facebook.
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