Thursday, March 10, 2011

“Can Texas Jail TSA Officials for 'Enhanced' Pat Downs?” No.

A Yahoo! News article asks, “Can Texas Jail TSA Officials for 'Enhanced' Pat Downs?”

The article discusses a bill in Texas that would make the use of full body scanning machines at airport security check points illegal, and would make a pat down a felony.

The supporters believe that they are on firm “firm Constitutional ground” because “the 10th Amendment suggests that the operation of airports is a state and not a federal function.”

They are incorrect.  Texas cannot do this because of the supremacy clause of the constitution.  Airport security is certainly within Congress’ power to regulate as an essential part of Interstate Commerce.  This means that all state laws that conflict with the federal regulations are invalid.

So the short answer to the question raised by the article is:  no.

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