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.
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: