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State Legislatures Attempt To Limit TSA Searches

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the they-never-have-a-bin-for-your-dignity dept.

Privacy 601

OverTheGeicoE writes "Here's a familiar story: a breast cancer survivor's mastectomy scars showed up on a TSA scan, which forced a horrifying pat-down ('feel-up' in her words) of the affected area. The woman decided that she would not subject herself to that again, and was barred from a later flight from Seattle to Juneau for that reason. But now the story takes an interesting turn: the woman is Alaska State Rep. Sharon Cissna, and once she finally made it back to Alaska she started sponsoring legislation to restrict TSA searches. Her many bills, if passed, would criminalize both pat-downs and 'naked scanning,' as well as require better health warnings for X-ray scanners and even studies of airport screenings' physical and psychological effects. Other states, including Utah and Texas, are considering similar legislation. For example, Texas State Rep. David Simpson is preparing to reintroduce his Traveler Dignity Act again in 2013 if he is re-elected. The last time that bill was being considered the Federal government threatened to turn all of Texas into a 'no-fly zone'."

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FUCK THE MAN! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137531)

Wait....

Supremacy Clause (5, Informative)

Srsen (413456) | about 2 years ago | (#39137571)

The Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution states that, when there is a conflict, Federal law always trumps State law. So these measures are a nice gesture but ultimately useless. Too bad, I agree with them in principle, just not in execution.

Re:Supremacy Clause (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137641)

You might actually be wrong, there are limited cases where the states can manage this. Now with something like medical weed you have an outright conflict. There are cases where states are allowed to do more, for example in Oregon their definition of free speech is much wider and more inclusive than the federal definition.

The TSA may very well decide to comply with local laws in those States, it's simply not worth the fight. At any rate, some sort of balance must be struck in this case, because I'm beginning to think people like the IRS more than the TSA.

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#39137677)

There are cases where states are allowed to do more, for example in Oregon their definition of free speech is much wider and more inclusive than the federal definition.

Great, no one would claim that is a supremacy clause case. On the other hand, States legislating over a Federal department is clearly going to get struck down.

Re:Supremacy Clause (4, Insightful)

El Torico (732160) | about 2 years ago | (#39137825)

... I'm beginning to think people like the IRS more than the TSA.

I think the IRS and the TSA are equally despised, but people see that the IRS at least has a purpose. On second thought, I agree with you, the TSA is regarded as worse than the IRS.

Re:Supremacy Clause (5, Informative)

kingramon0 (411815) | about 2 years ago | (#39138061)

In order for Federal Law to trump state law, it has to be made in pursuance of its Constitutionally delegated powers. If Congress passes a law which they are not granted the power to do as part of their enumerated powers, then it does not trump state laws. That is why there is no federal drinking age, speed limit, etc. Those powers are not granted to it, so instead they simply bribe the states into passing laws to their intended effect by threatening to withhold transportation money.

Powers that are not enumerated to the Federal government belong to the states to begin with, and therefore cannot be trumped by Federal law. Laws concerning criminal activity such as assault, cannot be trumped by Congress. Therefore, if a state passes a law that classifies what the TSA is doing as assault, it definitely is within their power. That is why the feds have to resort to threatening to shut down their airspace if the law is passed rather than challenge the law in court.

"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, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding." (Article VI, Clause 2)

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." (10th Amendment)

Re:Supremacy Clause (4, Insightful)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 2 years ago | (#39137661)

But is the TSA stuff law, or policy?

Re:Supremacy Clause (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#39137663)

The Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution states that, when there is a conflict, Federal law always trumps State law.

The federal government doesn't own the airports or airlines. "The State of Texas hereby withdraws all licensing, support, and allowances for any airport or airline within its borders."

So while yes, the fed may be able to say the TSA must exist in all airports, the state can say no airports may exist within its borders. If the fed really wants to push this, the state can make a constitutional amendment. Little known fact: State constitutions override federal law. Only treaties and the like can go above that then. So there are ways for states to fight back against unwanted federal interference if the will of the people is strong enough.

Frankly, I'd love to see Texas go toe to toe with the TSA on this issue. Whether it passed or failed, it would generate a ton of negative publicity for the feds and put them on the defensive for a long time.

Re:Supremacy Clause (4, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 2 years ago | (#39137879)

Then it just becomes a circular pissing contest: "The federal government withdraws all funding for interstate highways". Look at why the drinking age is 21 in every state. It's not because there is a federal law, it's because the feds strong armed them with "Well if it's not 21 the roads aren't safe, and if the roads aren't safe we're not going to fund them."

Re:Supremacy Clause (1, Interesting)

goodmanj (234846) | about 2 years ago | (#39137703)

In addition to the supremacy clause, even the most ardent states'-rightist would agree that this is "regulation of interstate commerce", so this definitely falls within the federal government's responsibility, not the states'.

Re:Supremacy Clause (4, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | about 2 years ago | (#39137809)

Actually it is very arguable that in this day and age where families are routinely split across the country and routinely make regular flights, that this would end up violating the freedom of movement stipulations of the constitution. It is not reasonable to tell someone in New York that they are perfectly free to drive to California, but not fly.

So now you have the constitution in conflict with itself, and off to the supremes you go.

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

Phelan (30485) | about 2 years ago | (#39137907)

you aren't perfectly free to drive as you have to be licensed to drive and most likely insured to drive.

So really you are perfectly free to walk from New York to California as long as you don't walk on the Interstate

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

_8553454222834292266 (2576047) | about 2 years ago | (#39137837)

I disagree because I disagree that this was the original intent of the commerce clause.

Re:Supremacy Clause (4, Interesting)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#39137847)

I would agree with no such false characterization, actually. Stopping people from practicing their right to unfettered travel within the confines of the US has exactly zero to do with commerce of any kind. They aren't stopping widgets from getting from point of origin to point of sale. They are stopping Citizens from traveling, and the issue has absolutely nothing to do with commerce of any kind.

Re:Supremacy Clause (2)

larry bagina (561269) | about 2 years ago | (#39137999)

Consider an in-state flight. Do you remember airline deregulation? Probably not, but prior to 1978, the federal government regulated domestic intra-state flights (setting fare prices, routes, and disallowing new airlines). They did not regulate in-state flights (though states did).

Re:Supremacy Clause (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137711)

This assumes that the federal law is constitutional. At the very least we could get the Supreme Court to weigh in on the question.

Re:Supremacy Clause (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#39137805)

At the very least we could get the Supreme Court to weigh in on the question.

Have you seen the shit coming from the Supreme Court lately? As if that is going to help at all...

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about 2 years ago | (#39137817)

As I said above, TSA is performing "regulation of interstate commerce". Badly, and probably in violation of several articles of the Bill of Rights, but I don't think states can argue that airline security is not the feds' job.

Re:Supremacy Clause (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 2 years ago | (#39137959)

That doesn't fly, up here in Alaska we have airlines that just operate in the State of Alaska, yet TSA rules apply to those as well.

Hell they are talking about putting body scanners in tiny airports like Nome.

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

huskermack (2581153) | about 2 years ago | (#39138043)

I live in AK too, and I politely ask to be groped instead of going through the scanner. I wish EVERYONE would also politely ask to be groped. I bet they would find another, less invasive way, to violate/offend us.

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

bit trollent (824666) | about 2 years ago | (#39137713)

That's true, but Rep. Foghorn Leghorn thinks he is still fighting the civil war.

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

El Torico (732160) | about 2 years ago | (#39137971)

I thought that was Yosemite Sam [youtube.com]

"Colonel! The Yankees! The Yankees! They’re in Chattanooga!"

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

zoloto (586738) | about 2 years ago | (#39137725)

And in this instance the Federal government is wrong. No one should have to put up with this kind of bullshit.

Re:Supremacy Clause (2)

RicoX9 (558353) | about 2 years ago | (#39137859)

Until your Congress-critters start getting voted out for this, and the many other bullshit things they get away with, you won't see change. Push-back at the state level is helpful, but ultimately fairly useless. If she makes herself too much of a squeaky wheel, I'd imagine men in dark suits would be spotted around town shortly before she has a tragic accident.

Re:Supremacy Clause (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 2 years ago | (#39137757)

Still, you have to admire their balls (but only if you work for the TSA).

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#39137781)

Unless its convenient for the Feds to turn a blind eye, like with gun rights.

Re:Supremacy Clause (2)

DigiTechGuy (1747636) | about 2 years ago | (#39137801)

Except when the Feds ignore federal law... Such as the Fourth Amendment. Also loosely noted in Article IV and more explicitly defined in the Articles of Confederation is freedom of travel, one of our natural rights. This was assumed to be such a basic right that it didn't need to be explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. Shame for us, but doesn't really matter since the Feds ignore the Constitution anyway.

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

Grave (8234) | about 2 years ago | (#39137811)

True, but threatening to turn an entire state into a "no fly zone" is pretty amazingly stupid. There have been plenty of individuals who have attempted (and failed) to fight the TSA based on numerous Supreme Court rulings -- "...[t]he nature of our Federal Union and our constitutional concepts of personal liberty unite to require that all citizens be free to travel throughout the length and breadth of our land, uninhibited by statutes, rules, or regulations which unreasonably burden or restrict this movement."

If you want to make it impossible to fly into/out of a whole state, however, that sure seems like an unreasonable burden/restriction to me. While it's still possible to drive/walk, it significantly delays travel vs. flying, and places a significant damper on all types of commerce. Now, whether the Supreme Court would bitch-slap the TSA into oblivion or just invalidate the state law is debatable. However, if they chose to invalidate the state law, that just might be the tipping point that sends the average US citizen over the edge and to the point of fighting back.

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about 2 years ago | (#39137973)

The problem with saying that making Texas a no fly zone is a burden would then also lead to why the Federal Government can mandate that I can't fly my ultralight out of my driveway. Sure, I could drive to an airport, find parking, go through all the security, but that takes an additional couple of hours vs pulling out of my driveway.

Re:Supremacy Clause (4, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | about 2 years ago | (#39137991)

I want to know: at what point do TSA regulations apply?

Suppose I own an airplane. If I want to take my friend Bob up in my Cessna, I doubt the TSA is going to want to look up his butt or make him take his shoes off. Hell, I imagine I don't even have to let them know -- I just file a flight plan with my local airport and go.

Now, what if Bob pays me $50 to take him from one place to another. Then does the TSA have to look up his butt?

What if I make a point of giving anybody who pays me $50 a ride in my airplane?

What if I have a bigger airplane and carry people around ten at the time?

When do they start insisting on me following their rules?

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

Artraze (600366) | about 2 years ago | (#39137819)

While that is true, it applies to 'conflicting' 'laws'. I don't want to look up the law creating the TSA (supposing there is one!) but I rather expect that it doesn't require pat-downs and x-rays by law. Instead, it probably just grants some vague sort of powers like 'necessary action to identify threats', leaving the specific implementation to the organization itself. Thus, it wouldn't be unreasonable for a state to say that they don't allow certain methods, which wouldn't exactly conflict: the TSA would just have to use other means (e.g. metal detectors) to accomplish their decreed goals.

So it would hardly be a slam-dunk case. A court would have to address:
1) To what extent do powers granted to a department have the force of law
2) What limits can be placed on those powers before such limits are seen to conflict
3) If the creation of the TSA and their powers is in pursuance of the constitution.

Re:Supremacy Clause (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137889)

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#39137925)

That assumes that the law actually specifies these searches. Additionally, it is clear that there were some in the Administration who felt that the Texas law was actually enforceable, otherwise why did they threaten to shut down all flights into and out of Texas if the law passed. There are several federal laws which grant rather broad powers to administrative agencies that it would be interesting to see how they held up in court if the regulations created based on those powers came into conflict with state laws.

Re:Supremacy Clause (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | about 2 years ago | (#39137929)

Lawsuit bait.

Pass the laws, support someone file a lawsuit based on these laws when the TSA disobeys them, take to SCOTUS.

Re:Supremacy Clause (2)

greap (1925302) | about 2 years ago | (#39137989)

There is no federal statute requiring the pat downs, USC simply states that TSA deal with airport security under direction from DHS. As such the supremacy clause does not come in to effect as there is no conflicting federal statute.

NH passed http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2012/HB0628.html [state.nh.us] earlier this year. The current language only allows for citizens to make complaints, the original version made TSA pat downs a felony. I expect it will be updated next year re include that.

Re:Supremacy Clause (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#39138005)

The federal government originally hadn't mandated that the TSA be in every airport. In fact, the author of the bill creating the TSA encouraged airports to opt-out of using the TSA [examiner.com] . Unfortunately, shortly after that article was written, the head of the TSA put a freeze on allowing any more opting-out from the airports. Even so, the Senate passed a bill a few weeks ago that would reinstate the practice [infowars.com] . So it seems somewhat inevitable that this is the direction things are heading now. I.e. that the crazy pendulum swung far enough one way and is starting to come back towards the center now.

Alternatively, if the TSA continues to be forced on the airports, their policies aren't law, last I checked. IANAL, so this is likely wishful thinking, but stick with me:
1) If an action being done by the TSA (e.g. the new scanners) is dictated by TSA policy
2) And there are no federal laws on the books mandating the action
3) And a state passes a bill barring the action
4) That said action would be illegal in that state, since no federal law exists to trump the state's law

And if we assume that my wishful thinking is just that and nothing more, a state could still try their hand at creating laws like these. At the very least, they'd be able to force the issue to a head by pushing it into the legal system. The state laws may eventually get struck down, but the statement being made would likely be sufficient to get some changes made.

Reality starting to set in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137575)

So the populace hates the TSA, now the state governments are starting to hate the TSA, just a matter of time until we either return to a civilized system or have a civil war.

Also, this would've been the first post, but that TSA agent kept having to "re-examine" my groin.

Re:Reality starting to set in (3, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#39137883)

just a matter of time until we either return to a civilized system

You mean like in the 1950's when no one was searched or x-rayed at all? After all, no one would be stupid to blow up the plane they are on, right? I don't know why people have this obsession with "not dying" - we are all going to die sooner or later, be it disease or a car crash or a plane crash or yes, even the remote chance of a terrorist plot. But terrorism only works because people allow themselves the live in fear. And while it can be argued that screening helps reduce the chance of terrorism on an airplane - it does not eliminate it as has been proven with the shoe/underwear bombers both of whom failed NO THANKS to the security screeners who let them on the planes.

Honestly I would prever less intrusion into my private life and my private parts, and take my chances. Better to live one day as a lion than 1,000 years as a sheep.

Finally (5, Insightful)

Zaurus (674150) | about 2 years ago | (#39137577)

It's about time the pendulum starts swinging away from the abusive, oppressive practices that the terrorists have set in place over our society.

America is supposed to be the land of the free, home of the brave. Not the land of the willing to consent to invasive and abusive practices because of drummed up fear.

Re:Finally (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137619)

The terrorists did not put these practices in place... our government did.

Re:Finally (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 2 years ago | (#39137657)

The terrorists did not put these practices in place... our government did.

Let's just say it was a joint effort, and mutually beneficial.

Re:Finally (2)

huskermack (2581153) | about 2 years ago | (#39137751)

I am no longer an "Anonymous Coward."

Re:Finally (4, Insightful)

zoloto (586738) | about 2 years ago | (#39137753)

the government ARE the terrorists in examples like this

Re:Finally (3, Funny)

anagama (611277) | about 2 years ago | (#39137629)

America is done. It's all a downhill slide now.

Really, the best thing would be a movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the peaceful secession of states.

I live in Cascadia -- we'd be one awesome country if we could be. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascadia_(independence_movement) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137765)

You live in a mythical country?

Re:Finally (4, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | about 2 years ago | (#39137943)

No. Perhaps if read what I said, you'd realize I don't live in Cascadia, I just wish I did. Where I do live, is in an country with an odious foreign policy and a government that is looking more and more like a fascist state (in the classical sense, not the colloquial). Evidence:

1) Extreme nationalism and the notion we can do anything, anywhere, anytime and if anyone objects, they're a terrorist.

2) Racism, i.e., the Drug War. Check out the book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Jim_Crow [wikipedia.org]

3) Government by and for the benefit of massive corporate interests.

4) Severe and accelerating erosion of privacy and liberty -- what can you say when even Democrats believe the president can kill or imprison any American without trial or even acknowledgement that such a thing happened.

The fact is, America is dead right now, and all that is left is a bit of the inertia of our former self. 20 or 30 years down the line, and we'll be like any other repressive regime you care to name.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39138015)

Your post said (and I quote):

"I live in Cascadia" - present tense, but Cascadia doesn't currently exist and as such this is an inherently false statement.. Something like "I live in what could be Cascadia" or "I live within the proposed Cascadia area" or something like that, it would have been clearer.

I don't see how your list of grievances against the U.S. Government has anything to do with basic English grammar.

Re:Finally (3, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39137769)

Right. Until the Federated Republic of California decided to invade.

Who gets to keep the guns? (And the bombers and the Navy and this and that). You folks haven't really thought this out. This pops up in Alaska all the time (Sarah Palin's husband is big on this). Alaska's National Guard has some light infantry and a few old fighters. I think the biggest weapon that the Alaska State Troopers have is a 50 caliber machine gun and a couple of 300 pound officers.

Russia waltzes in. Then what happens?

So, you make 'defensive pacts' with the big guys with the guns. You have to pay for that right. That's a treaty or similar.

Now, just look at how well the United States has done with treaties (ask your average Native American).

Dream on, brother.

Re:Finally (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 2 years ago | (#39138041)

Alaska Air Guard has no fighters.

HH-60G, C-130, C-17, KC-135, HC-130

Alaska National Guard have military police, helicopter, battlefield intelligence, WMD support and training units, no "light infantry" units.

Alaska State Troopers don't have "50 caliber machine guns", but they do have some Remington 700 sniper rifles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_State_Troopers#Equipment [wikipedia.org]

ROFL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137875)

oppressive practices that the terrorists have set in place over our society

As if Osama drafted the plans himself, rather than the people who actually benefit from expanding the business of government (the elite at the top of the pyramid).

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39138035)

It's about time the pendulum starts swinging away from the abusive, oppressive practices that the terrorists have set in place over our society.

America is supposed to be the land of the free, home of the brave. Not the land of the willing to consent to invasive and abusive practices because of drummed up fear.

Allow me to outline the legislative process in regards to the TSA in this case:

1. Noise starts being made by senators/representatives. The people want the TSA to tone it down any amount that can be considered at least "one notch*".
2. The head of the TSA switches to fire-and-brimstone mode to remind the people that the TSA hypothetically saves lives, points to amorphous blobs of "evidence", and please give them more money for neat toys**.
3. If this works, end discussion. Start over at step one in a few years.
4. If this fails, the head of the TSA stands before congress and ratchets up*** the fire-and-brimstone mode. Hysteria and paranoia are encouraged at this point; after all, it's his job on the line now. And please give them more money for neat toys.
5. If this works, end discussion. Start over at step one in a few years.
6. If this fails, senate and house leaders will begin discussing removing some of the TSA's power and, more importantly, funding.
7. By complete and utter coincidence, a random terrorist plot is foiled by the heroic, patriotic efforts of the brave, patriotic TSA agents. News outlets are filled with this information 24/7. Man, what a lifesaver for the head of the TSA! How lucky!
8. TSA gets more power and funding. You're not complaining, are you? You ARE patriotic, right, COMRADE?!??!?
9. Start over at step one in a few more years than steps 3 or 5.

*: By which I clearly mean one unit of the creator of Minecraft. The people want the TSA to fire one guy working for them who looks like Notch.
**: Creepy or no, you do have to admit those toys are sort of neat from a purely technological standpoint.
***: At no point in the process is the ratchet released. Including between any "start over" instruction and the next iteration.

Ah, election year (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137579)

What do people hate this year? Ah, the TSA. Let's promise to do something about that if we're reelected.

Once reelected, we can safely ignore it for 2/4/6 years, depending on elected body...

...makes you wonder... (2)

joocemann (1273720) | about 2 years ago | (#39137589)

...if only there were a way for reality to affect our politicians in other ways.... shoddy health insurance, loan scandals, eroding wages for skilled work, being on the wrong end of globalization.... etc. Now we can see true motivation.

Oh yes... When it is US its OK, but THEM... (5, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 2 years ago | (#39137591)

Oh for effen crying out loud! When it is THEM then well we have a PROBLEM! But if they are not affected and we complain to the wahzoo we are complainers! No I want the TSA to keep going because I want THEM to start understanding how WE are dealt with by a government!

States can't legislate to the federal government (1, Informative)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 2 years ago | (#39137593)

I understand why the woman was upset, but state legislatures (generally the Republican controlled ones) still do not get it. You cannot preempt federal law by state legislation. TSA actions are governed at the federal level. States have no authority to tell them what they can and cannot do. Consider what could, in theory, happen if states could preempt federal law. Let's pretend that Mythonia (made up) is an American state and they legislate that only white male citizens over the age of 18 can vote. Then there is nothing the non-white citizens of Mythonia can do about it except try to change the law as the other 49 states and the federal government shrug their shoulders and say "Wish we could help".

Re:States can't legislate to the federal governmen (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39137675)

You added Mythonia, but there's still only 50 states? Is this after California fell in the ocean, after Texas seceded or after Florida was sold to Cuba?

Re:States can't legislate to the federal governmen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137835)

You added Mythonia, but there's still only 50 states? Is this after California fell in the ocean, after Texas seceded or after Florida was sold to Cuba?

None, we sold Alaska to Canada.

Re:States can't legislate to the federal governmen (2)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#39138051)

No, North and South Dakota finally settled their differences and re-united.

Re:States can't legislate to the federal governmen (2, Interesting)

Que914 (1042204) | about 2 years ago | (#39137795)

In the example you gave Mythonia would then have laws on its book that conflict with Federal law and hence would be invalid. In the case of what the Senator is proposing, there are no specific Federal laws they would be going against. Congress passed bills creating the DHS and TSA, but no law has been specifically passed defining their authority nor defining how they're to execute their charter. So while you're quite right that you cannot pre-empt federal law by state legislation if this theoretically got all the way to SCOTUS the TSA would likely be required to point to exactly what Federal law they were claiming had supremacy.

Re:States can't legislate to the federal governmen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137855)

Isn't there something somewhere about powers not explicitly granted to the federation are restricted to the state? I'm sure I read something like this somewhere, and I don't see no TSA in the constitution.

Re:States can't legislate to the federal governmen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137891)

If your argument is that a state cannot prosecute and jail a sex offender if they're a federal employee, you might want to rethink that.

Re:States can't legislate to the federal governmen (2, Interesting)

tkrotchko (124118) | about 2 years ago | (#39137899)

States can make it really uncomfortable for the Fed to actually enforce their policy.

Look at what's happened in Arizona; whether or not you agree with the policies, they are putting the federal government on the defensive about its own policies.

Re:States can't legislate to the federal governmen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137949)

Perhaps not. What law gives the TSA this authority? They won't say, and its quite possible no such law exists.

If no such law actually exists, then the TSA agents are indeed subject to state laws on this subject.

I personally think that Texas or Alaska or some state should pass a law prohibiting anyone, including any government agency not specifically unauthorized by statue from interfering with citizens right to travel.

The law would have to make it an absolute defense to charges brought under this law to cite the applicable law authorizing said interference.

Time to assert themselves before its too late (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#39137597)

In this era of the Affordable Care Act, Home Land Security, and the notion Commerce Clause means the EPA, Dpt of Education, DOE, and FCC can do whatever they want any time any place its the states need to make a stand.

If State Legislatures don't WAKE THE F***K UP and push back they will be irrelevant. Its time to remind dear old Uncle Sam the cooperative federalism only means you cooperate when you support what the federal government is doing. Citizen show some spine and back your legislators and governors if the stand against Washington, don't dessert them when Washington pushes back but cutting access to funds, blocking air travel etc; these things are important but the very character of our nation is at stake!

Re:Time to assert themselves before its too late (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | about 2 years ago | (#39137721)

Or, how about voting for federal legislators who will address the problem, instead of encouraging state legislators to spend their time in exercises less effective than a single state's Occupy movement?

No Fly Zone (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 2 years ago | (#39137603)

I'd love to see the states start calling the Federal Bluff. If the states revolt in unison against over reaching Federal Intrusions, the Feds will have no choice but to back off.

The problem is we have a bunch of pussified representatives.

Re:No Fly Zone (4, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39137651)

Then the feds would just shut down the golden picnic hamper. States would go hungry.

Much of Federal legislation (education / environment, not so sure about the TSA in particular) isn't directly forcing states to do one thing or another. It's just if you don't want to play in their sandbox, you don't get to play with the fun toys.

The old golden rule "He who has the gold, rules".

Re:No Fly Zone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137813)

The old golden rule "He who has the gold, rules".

Yes, and AK has quite a bit of black gold.

Re:No Fly Zone (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 years ago | (#39137671)

Texas could just begin withholding oil in response.

Re:No Fly Zone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137957)

I'd like to see MN, IA, MS, AK, and LA all become no fly zones. Going from east coast to west coast (or visa versa) would become a much longer flight

No fly works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137611)

The idea of the FAA blocking a state is ludicrous. However, the idea of the states working without the FAA and TSA is appealing.

Perhaps the states could do a better job than the fed in implementing security? The variety of security differences could introduce better security by their differences.

Re:No fly works for me (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39137695)

It'd be a great way to promote tourism. "Come to Alaska! Scenic vistas, wildlife and no mandatory groping!"

Re:No fly works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137981)

Yeah -- no groping, if you take the AlCan (Hint: tourists really shouldn't be attempting that) or a ship. If you fly to AK, as tourists are wont to, your balls will still be groped at your airport of departure -- by a former TSA worker who knows buddies who lost their jobs due to the defederalization, and knows you're going to one of the responsible states. Wanna bet you get a little "extra" attention?

Blame Obama No Matter What (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137615)

This is brilliant!

Republicans get to blame Obama for every security screening we go through.

Then, if by some freak accident they get their way, they can blame the next underwear bomber on President Obama. Just like they blamed the last one on him.

This is classic Republican strategy. Sabotage the country. Then, blame Democrats for the consequences of your sabotage.

It's a smart strategy, but it only works in a country full of retards..

Re:Blame Obama No Matter What (2)

bored_engineer (951004) | about 2 years ago | (#39137961)

Sharon Cissna is a Democrat [state.ak.us] .

Re:Blame Obama No Matter What (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#39138003)

Actually, all the Republicans "blamed" Obama for with the last underwear bomber was Janet Napolitano saying "the system worked" when the only reason the guy was stopped was because of the actions of other passengers on the plane, not because of anything done by the TSA.

Texas a no-fly zone? (4, Interesting)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | about 2 years ago | (#39137625)

Before federal deregulation, Southwest flew entirely within Texas so that it could set its own fares and schedules. I think PSA did the same thing by flying only within California. I could certainly see this happening again if the states and the feds go to war over the TSA. If you fly across state lines or fly international, you've got to go through the TSA first, but if you stay within your own state, you don't.

Re:Texas a no-fly zone? (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39138059)

The Rhode Island State Airlines wouldn't even be able to taxi to the end of the runway.

How is this going to work?

Weakest Link Security (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 years ago | (#39137635)

As a regular international traveler I can say:
The entire airport system is only as good as its weakest link. Because not every passenger is scanned with these devices the security level of the flight is only as high as the worst scanned person. Given that these scanners are only at some airports and only domestic ones, the entirety of our airspace is compromised. I find no increased security. However if everyone were was scanned, then T-Hz scanned (combination scanning) then it could be argued that the double screening method added some security.

Every time I fly across the ocean I have to use one of those Thz scanners, but coming back I'm not put through one. This only makes a small material difference - that is the amount of fuel on the plane. This effectively nullifies any benefit the scanners have.

Re:Weakest Link Security (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#39137931)

There are a few foreign airports that require scanning with a Thz/X-ray body scanner before flying to the US, but they're not many.

Why does it take a representative to be affected.. (4, Insightful)

nprz (1210658) | about 2 years ago | (#39137639)

Why does it take a representative to be affected before they represent the people?
Aren't they supposed to be listening to us complaining and take action? Instead it seems like they only act on what is affecting them.

Re:Why does it take a representative to be affecte (3, Interesting)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 2 years ago | (#39137717)

Why does it take a representative to be affected before they represent the people? Aren't they supposed to be listening to us complaining and take action? Instead it seems like they only act on what is affecting them.

Pretty much the same reason you get the crosswalk light installed only after some kid or old lady gets killed. People, including legislators, do what's easiest for them. When it's easier to do nothing, do nothing. When doing nothing gets to be more trouble than doing something, only then you do something.

Turn it on its head (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137737)

It's natural for people to best understand the ramifications of law, policy, and procedure when it directly affects themselves. Perhaps a differently worded question is: wouldn't *we* be better off if our representatives more broadly represented us -- in terms of wealth, health, age, religion, ethnicity, educational background, etc.? That means more minorities and women, but it also means more factory workers [union and nonunion], more with a direct experience of poverty, more with a background in STEM, etc. Sure there are a few national politicians here and there who meet those kinds of broad demographics, but nowhere near the levels that America as a whole contains.

In short, elect fewer old white rich male lawyers and you may find a better cross section of legislative ideas and initiatives.

Pretty much sums it up ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#39137647)

Her many bills, if passed, would criminalize both pat-downs and 'naked scanning,' as well as require better health warnings for X-ray scanners and even studies of airport screenings' physical and psychological effects.

Contrasted with

The last time that bill was being considered the Federal government threatened to turn all of Texas into a 'no-fly zone'.

It's too late to try to bring rationality into this discussion. The industry that has sprung up to service the security theatre is not going to back down, and enough lawmakers have been scared into the "zomg, the terrorists" knee jerk reactions that you can't change anything.

If you're against an intrusive TSA, you're in favor of terrorism. Heavens forbid you refuse to get into the machine because the rent a cop tells you it's safe -- based on the extensive medical training they're required to receive, why wouldn't you take them at their word? It was only built by the lowest bidder, what could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, it seems like 1984 and Big Brother just keep happening around us. And the loss of those pesky constitutional rights just keeps going.

I wonder if there are accurate stats which show how much visits to the US are down? Of course, if you keep all of the foreigners out, you've accomplished half the battle I guess. Of course, if other countries started fingerprinting US citizens and gathering biometric information, the US would be up in arms at how unfair it is.

No fly zone? (2)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#39137715)

That's great! The last time I visited Texas, the flies were terrible!

Need TSA in Congress & Sentate & White Hou (3, Informative)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#39137739)

Let's make all of congress, the senate, and of course, the President and cronies, have to go thru a TSA scanner and pat down every time they want to enter the senate, or the white house, or congress. Let's do this for a month, then lets have a revote on this stuff.

My guess is we'd get rid of all the scanners and pat downs.

After all, the people who make the laws are the one rarely affected by the laws they are making, unless it's something to benefit them.

Re:Need TSA in Congress & Sentate & White (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137995)

That won't work... they'll just continue to not show up.

This rings hollow (5, Insightful)

twotacocombo (1529393) | about 2 years ago | (#39137779)

Call me a cynic, but why did this woman not actively support regaining our rights and dignity BEFORE she became a victim of the TSA? It seems a little self serving for her to suddenly pick up that flag only after her own personal traumatic experience. As a fellow human, I can sympathize with what she's gone through, but as a politician it looks less than righteous.

Re:This rings hollow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137953)

But not unusual given the old saying, "A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested and a conservative is a liberal who's been robbed."

Re:This rings hollow (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 2 years ago | (#39137965)

why did this woman not actively support regaining our rights and dignity BEFORE she became a victim of the TSA?

She's a politician (no party affiliation required) so she was all for bigger government until it stepped on her feet.

laugh (2)

koan (80826) | about 2 years ago | (#39137853)

So all it takes is a politician to get fondled and it's an outrage worthy of legislation, but for us pedestrians and punters tough beans.

Texas no fly zone.. would be national (5, Interesting)

bored (40072) | about 2 years ago | (#39137871)

Because Texas has two very important hubs, DFW and IAH. Plus a very large number of southwest flights pass through Texas. When DFW/IAH gets shutdown the ripples will be national, good luck finding a flight anywhere. The texas leg should totally call their bluff, lets see what happens when united can't fly through IAH, and American can't fly through DFW. Plus chopping the middle out of southwest won't be pretty either.

Loosing the 2,3 and 4th largest airlines in the US will be a bigger problem for TSA, than any terrorist attack.

While as others have noted... (1)

forkfail (228161) | about 2 years ago | (#39137897)

... this probably won't make much legal hay in the end, it may be an extremely effective form of protest.

Good on them.

interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39137901)

while it is nice that this stuff is finally being challenged....i am saddened that it had to happen to her before she was willing to stand up against it

too often, we only see the injustice in a situation when it effects us. She didnt give a flying fuck when my kids were being groped by the TSA but now that it happened to her, its a big fucking problem....typical

Yes (2)

trifish (826353) | about 2 years ago | (#39137911)

The terrorists have already won.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39138009)

terrorism is for governments use only. duh

As usual (1)

X.25 (255792) | about 2 years ago | (#39137993)

When it happens to someone from 'ruling caste', then it becomes a big deal.

TSA procedures are largely symbolic (5, Insightful)

IVI V K (2022732) | about 2 years ago | (#39138053)

The TSA was created to comfort passengers after 9/11 by providing a highly visible change to the airport security measures through inconveniencing all passengers as much as possible.

In reality, even without the TSA, the nature of in flight security changed forever on 9/11. Now everyone understands that the risk of hijacked planes is far greater than just the lives of those held hostage on the plane. By showing the larger threat hijacked planes pose as weapons, the hijackers on 9/11 effectively ended hijacking as a means to terrorize the greater population since most will accept that hijacked planes must be shot down before the plane can be used to pose a larger threat. Passengers and crews now know that their only hope for survival in a hijack attempt is to take down the hijackers themselves and regain control of the plane.

Security is still required to keep weapons and bombs off of flights, but even the security before 9/11 was sufficient to deter the hijackers from bringing guns or other large weapons. As prisoners have shown, sharp weapons can be made from virtually anything solid, but these weapons would be less effective in a hijack today since the passengers and crew would be willing to be cut to overpower hijackers.

The only minimal additional security provided since 9/11 is in limiting compounds that could be used to make explosives with the intent of destroying a plane rather than hijacking. This is battle of diminishing returns, where ever growing intrusions into personal privacy and intrusions provide ever smaller degrees of increased security and protection.

I have no problem with scanned luggage and carryons, but requiring everyone to remove shoes and clothes is purely an attempt to make each passenger feel and intimately experience the security.

These are psychological steps that accomplish virtually nothing to improve our security, but only raise the perception of safety.

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