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DOJ letter to Texas: ‘TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight …’

May 25, 2011 Comments off

lonestarreport

The U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to House and Texas Senate leaders Tuesday — reportedly in person — threatening a shut-down of airports if HB 1937 is passed.

The letter claims Rep. David Simpson’s (R-Longview) anti-TSA-groping bill is against federal law and the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. We include the text of the DOJ’s letter, as well as a portion of Simpson’s reply, below.
May 24, 2011

[On U.S. Department of Justice, Western District of Texas, stationery. Addressed to Speaker Joe Straus, Dewhurst, the House Clerk and the Senate Secretary]

Dear Leaders,

I write with regard to HB 1937, which I understand will imminently be presented to the Texas Senate for a vote.

This office, as well as the Southern, Northern, and Eastern District of Texas United States Attorneys, would like to advise you of the significant leagal and practical problems that will be created if the bill becomes law. As you are no doubt aware, the bill makes it a crime for a federal transportation official (“TSO”) to perform the security screening that he or she is authorized and required by federal law to perform. The proposed legislation would make it unlawful for a federal agent such as a TSO to perform certain specified searches for the purpose of granting access to a publicly accessible building or form of transportation. That provision would thus criminalize searches Read more…