The Texas legislature will take up two bills designed to protect basic civil liberties in the Lone Star State during the 2013 legislative session.
On Monday morning, Rep. David Simpson (R-Longwood) prefiled The Texas Travel Freedom Act (House Bill 80). If passed, the law would make it a criminal act to intentionally touch “the anus, breast, buttocks, or sexual organ of the other person, including touching through clothing,” without probable cause in the process of determining whether to grant someone access to a public venue or means of public transportation.
The measure also forbids removing a child younger than 18 years of age from the physical custody or control of a parent or guardian. The act would put an end to the most intrusive pat-down searches conducted by the TSA.
“If you walk up to somebody and grab their crotch out on the street, it will land you in jail. Blue uniforms and federal badges don’t grant some goon the power to sexually assault you, or at least they shouldn’t. A person doesn’t forfeit her or his personal dignity or Fourth Amendment protections with the purchase of an airline ticket,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said.
The Texas legislature will also consider a bill that would block any attempt to indefinitely detain people in Texas under sections of the National Defense Authorization Act. Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) prefiled House Bill 149, which declares:
It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Pub. L. No. 112-81). Any act to enforce or attempt to enforce those laws is in violation of this subchapter.
The legislation also provides for criminal penalties against any agent attempting to detain persons in Texas without due process under the NDAA. If passed, the law will effectively nullify federal indefinite detention in the Lone Star State.
“With four more years of the man who not only signed ‘federal kidnapping’ into law, but has vigorously defended it in court, there is absolutely zero chance for repeal in Washington D.C. Our last hope is to stand up and nullify,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said. “While Representative Larson will likely be derided by the establishment, if you live in Texas, he deserves your praise. And other state legislators need to follow suit. When enough states stand up and say, “No!” to unconstitutional federal acts, there’s not much that Obama and his gang can do about it. The Constitution and your liberty will win.”
Both acts follow the example set by Thomas Jefferson when he drafted the Kentucky Resolution of 1798 in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts and argued nullification is “the rightful remedy” when the federal government oversteps its delegated powers.
“The several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”