Perry adds anti-groping bill to special session
Gov. Rick Perry announced he had added legislation that would make it illegal for TSA agents to engage in “intrusive touching” at airports security checkpoints without probable cause to the list of items for the legislature to consider during the special session.
The measure had previously failed to pass in the Texas Senate after the Justice Department wrote a scathing memo against the bill that threatened legal action against the state and the bill became enmeshed in Senate politics.
There are questions about what affect the legislation might have since airport security is a federal matter.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who was accused of lobbying against the bill in May said he was “pleased” by Perry’s decision.
“I’m very pleased that Governor Perry agreed to add this legislation to his Special Session call,” Dewhurst said. “Addressing unreasonable and unlawful searches of innocent travelers by some TSA employees is an issue that affects all Texans who use air travel, and it should not wait until next Session.”
Before the Senate took up the bill initially, the Justice Department sent a letter to state advising that passage of the bill would result in immediate legal action by the federal government and that it could result in airline flights to and from Texas being delayed or cancelled.