Texas Anti-Groping Legislation Dies in Legislature
The Texas legislature failed Wednesday to pass a bill that would ban invasive pat downs by airport security.
The measure, which would have criminalized "enhanced pat-downs" by Transportation Security Administration agents at Texas airports, originally died on the floor of the Texas Legislature in May. Governor Rick Perry resurrected it as part of his agenda for a special session of the legislature, allegedly addressing pressure from conservatives and Tea party members, reports Reuters.
The provisions of the bill would have held that, for a TSA agent to "touch the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person, even through that person's clothing" for the purpose of "granting access to a building or a form of transportation," would be a Class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to a year in prison or a $4,000 fine.
But, it seems the threat of federal intervention led to the proposition's demise.
According to Reuters, U.S. Attorney John Murphy circulated a warning letter to senators, pointing out that the TSA can prevent planes from taking off from Texas if their safety cannot be verified.
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