It looks as if Kansas legislators have had just about enough of the “security theater” of airport screening by the Transportation Security Administration. Rep. Brett Hildabrand helped to introduce HB 2175, which would make it illegal for TSA screeners to touch the private parts of passengers, as well as prohibit them from removing those passengers under eighteen years old from under control of their parents or legal guardians.
Twenty other House Republicans are joining him in pushing the bill and this would impact between 100 and 110 TSA officers at seven Kansas airports.
The Shawnee Republican said,
“Air travelers are subjected to aggressive, humiliating pat-downs, many of which would land the average stranger off the street in jail. But because the federal government has given someone a blue uniform and a badge, we are told that person has authority over our bodies and we must endure.”
Hildabrand pointed to the story of a three year old in a wheelchair that was scrutinized by the TSA and wrote:
“This is exactly why we need to pass HB 2175, regulating the TSA conduct in Kansas! This is yet another despicable assault by the TSA”
The TSA claims that the “Supremacy Clause,” found in Article VI of the US Constitution gives the Federal government jurisdiction in this matter and it prevents states from regulating the federal government. That is only in the case where such jurisdiction is Constitutional. The particular clause in question reads:
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
The TSA blog arguing for the Supremacy Clause read, “We wish we lived in a world where you could just walk on a plane with no security screening, but that just isn’t the case unfortunately. Aviation security agencies worldwide have been using pat-downs long before TSA was created to prevent dangerous items from getting onto airplanes. The pat-down is a highly effective tool to resolve certain alarms and keep these dangerous items off of planes that could cause catastrophic damage.”
This is utter nonsense. The Federal government, prior to 9-11 did not engage in this practice. It is one thing for private airport security to engage in it. It is quite another for the Federal government to do it. It is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Furthermore, TSa is out to keep dangerous items off of planes, or so they say, but it has been demonstrated that many items they seek to keep off planes travel across country. It is also highly documented of their harassment and utter ridiculousness in regards to the porn scanners, testing of your drink for explosives before you board your flight and the silly notion of checking grandmothers and people in wheelchairs, subjecting them to humiliating unlawful and unconstitutional searches and in some cases seizures.
The State of Kansas can remove TSA officers from any and all airports if they so desire. The Federal government does not have the right to violate the Fourth Amendment rights of anyone, including those flying on airplanes.
Second, there is the issue of nullification. That’s right, the Tenth Amendment. While many states are already pushing nullification of the National Defense Authorization Act and Obamacare, Kansas should push the envelope. While I applaud Rep. Hildabrand’s efforts, it doesn’t go far enough. Where in the Constitution does the US Federal government possess the authority to federalize airport security and in the process demand the violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of passengers before they may board an airplane? It isn’t in there.
However, remember it wasn’t long ago that Texas tried a similar move and though there were the votes, the Feds made a threat of shutting down flights in and out of Texas and lawmakers backed off. As long as they will not stand up against tyrants, the tyrants will continue to be bullies. It’s time to actually stand for freedom and throw off the chains of an oppressive Federal government.