I just read a very interesting article from the NY Times on a bill that might be reintroduced in the Texas legislature. The bill would ban “intrusive” airport searches, such as pat-downs that touch “the anus, sexual organ, buttocks or breast of another person including through the clothing, or touches the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person.”
Basically, the bill would prevent TSA screeners from feeling up passengers.
The NY Times interviewed state representative David Simpson and asked him if the anti-groping bill conflicts with federal law. He responded:
The first thing the feds will say is it violates the Constitution and the supremacy clause. But we’re not contravening any federal statute. It’s not a nullification. We’re saying the feds are acting outside the Constitution. In the new bill we’ve added an allowance for consent — if a T.S.A. agent says, ‘There is something that seems to be on your buttock and I would like to use the back of my hand to make sure it’s not something explosive,’ you could agree to that search. We think that could have been done anyway. But what we’re basically saying is, ‘Show me the law that says you can touch my private parts in order to travel and I’ll let you do it.’ ”
I can’t say that I am an expert on nullification but when a law says that “the feds are acting outside the Constitution” it seems to me that it should qualify as nullification.
Nullification, as it has been described by CockleBur contributor Jacob Huebert, is when a state declares “federal laws unconstitutional, refuse[s] to enforce them, and protect[s] their citizens from their enforcement.”
Nullification is an interesting subject. I don’t know if it is the best thing for this country (I have not studied it enough to have an informed opinion). But I do know that someday I would like to enter an airport and not feel like I’m back in a prison. But that’s just me.