Thursday, May 26, 2011

A tainted Texplanation on TSA 'groping' bill

At the Texas Tribune, their "Texplainer" column posed the question, "Is TSA 'Groping' Bill Junk Legislation?," answering in the affirmative, but in the comments Grits took exception to their reasoning. The reporters hung their hats on a quote from University of Texas law professor Robert Chesney declaring that, "'It’s a bedrock principal of the Constitution that federal law is supreme over state law." To this Grits replied:
Yeah, who cares about that pesky 10th Amendment, anyway? That was clearly just a clerical error the Framers meant to edit out but forgot. (/sarcasm) The "bedrock principle" has an "except" in it that this argument fails to acknowledge. (Actually two "excepts," but nobody, and I mean NOBODY, certainly not law professors, champions the 9th Amendment anymore.)

Then there's this ignorant piece of editorial flotsam: "if the federal government created a law establishing that the minimum speed limit on a highway was 65 mph but a local entity, such as the state, passed a law saying the maximum speed limit on a highway was 45 mph, the state law and federal law would be in conflict."

That would be a great example if you drew the proper conclusion. Perhaps the authors fail to realize the feds CANNOT set those speed limits, and instead coerce states into doing it by threatening to take away federal highway funds. They can bribe states into doing what they want, but they cannot overrule state speed limit laws, so if the two were in conflict, contrary to Prof. Chesney, state law would be "supreme" over federal law.

Even the TSA disagrees with the interpretation given here! Their letter says the bill would ""make it unlawful for a federal agent to perform certain specified searches," which implies that it could be passed, enforced, etc.. They're just saying IF it passed it would interfere with their agency rules, but what they DON'T say is what Prof. Chesney claims - that the law would be constitutionally invalid.

How a proper federalism analysis would apply to TSA screening is another question, but it's one not at all Texplained in this article.


Anonymous said...

Can we still secede from the union?

Anonymous said...

Yes, but they will bring in the the UN peacekeepers to bring us back.

Anonymous said...

You can't secede, the states have been put down as collateral on the Federal debt. You can only be repo'ed.

Anonymous said...

sure seems like the government gets what the government wants and we, the people, are powerless to do anything about it. The traffic citation example, to me, sounds like extortion! When the mafia pulls a stunt like this people go to prison. When countries near or far away conduct themse" manner we now invade and kill the head official yet for some reason our government feels entitled!

Welcome back U.S.S.R.

-Gary Browder

Charles from East Texas said...

What constitution? The Supreme Court been whittling that down for years.

armed and dangerous pilot said...

If ever there was a chance for the state of Texas to put their foot down and say "enough is enough" this was it. But, the legislature weenied out. Airports are locally owned entities, and airport grounds fall under the jurisdiction of the county/state. The fed can no more stop air travel to and from Texas than they can stop people from spitting on the sidewalk. I've been flying private for decades, and I walk through the same terminals as you do packing all sorts of artillery, and I walk right by you as you fight to get your shoes on and off, and negotiate the body scanners. I then walk right through the same doors you do, and out on to the same piece of concrete. The only difference is I go to my own airplane while you board a Delta, Southwest, or Continental flight.

The current method of TSA screening is a joke. If you think I need a gun, bomb, boxcutter, or fingernail file to bring down a commercial flight, you're sadly mistaken.

Phelps said...

It does seem ripe for a challenge. The SCOTUS has recognized the Right of Travel all the way back to the early 19th century. For the TSA (or DHS or FAA) to say that the People are not allowed to fly out of Texas because of an act of the legislature is almost certainly an unconstitutional violation of a right so basic that it did not need enumeration (while speech and press did.)