House GOP declines funding for more body scanners

While it seems they believe that it’s perfectly fine to have roving wiretaps and sneak-and-peek searches, House Republicans have denied a request by the Department of Homeland Security to fund more full-body scanners:

The Transportation Security Administration’s request to expand its controversial body scanner program was rebuffed this week by a Republican-led House committee.

The $40.6 billion Department of Homeland Security 2012 budget released this week by the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee denies the request from President Obama to provide TSA with $76 million to buy 275 more scanners.

The measure includes $7.8 billion for the TSA, which Republicans said was a $125 million increase from current levels but $293 million less than the administration’s budget request. But the much-maligned body scanners were a no-go.

That’s not the end of the TSA backlash. The Texas House of Representatives have passed legislation that would make the controversial pat-downs illegal:

State Representative David Simpson (R) Longview said that protecting his 16-year-old daughter is just one of the reasons he introduced House Bill 1937.

“We’re saying it’s unreasonable to touch someone’s private parts as a condition to travel without probable cause,” Rep. Simpson said.

The controversial new measure is headed to the Senate after passing in the House.  If the bill becomes law, it would be a Class A misdemeanor in Texas if a security officer intentionally touched a person’s private parts—even on top of clothing.

The language of the proposed law is clear. It includes “anus, a sexual organ, buttocks, or breast.”  It moves into Fourth Amendment territory by also including touching that is “in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person.”

Of course, TSA is arrogantly and condecendingly pushing back (by the way, you guy use Blogger? Seriously?) by claiming supremcy over state laws. However, the folks over at the Tenth Amendment Center note that unless the Fourth Amendment is properly repealed - through Article V processes - that Americans have a right not to be searched illegally.


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