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Texas Rep: If we don't fight, TSA-like security coming to "sidewalks and football games"

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The lawmaker behind a bill Texas that would levy felony charges against overly-touchy security personnel may be staunchly Republican, but he truly believes his cause isn’t one tied to the political left or right.

“We’re talking about what would be a criminal act in any other place,” Rep. David Simpson (R) told Raw Story on Monday. “If you viewed someone naked without their permission or consent, or as a condition of travel, it would be sexual harassment or vouyerism. If you touched people’s privates, that would be sexual assault.

“This is not a left or right issue,” he added. “They are treating American citizens with great indignity, and we’ve got to make this right.”

Though unlikely to pass – even with a GOP supermajority in the Texas legislature – Simpson’s proposal has become a cause célèbre for civil libertarians, many of whom adamantly oppose the TSA’s screening procedures.

The bill would amend a Texas statute pertaining to “the offensive touching of persons,” extending it to security personnel who conduct a search “without probable cause.”

That’s actually the exact wording used in the Constitution in the section outlining prohibitions on unreasonable search and seizure. The legal standard for a lawful search is probable cause: a requirement that law enforcement must meet before most judges will issue search warrants.

The bill specifies that “offensive” touching which takes place as “part of a search performed to grant access to a publicly accessible building or form of transportation” would be treated as a state jail felony.


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