Republican state lawmakers in Texas submitted two bills this week seeking to counteract the federal government's controversial powers of indefinite detention and overzealous searches by the Transportation Security Administration.
GOP state Rep. Lyle Larson filed a measure that would nullify controversial aspects of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which has been criticized for establishing vague criteria that gives the federal government broad authority to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists without charges or a trial.
HB 149 specifically calls out Section 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA, which were recently subjects of a federal lawsuit filed by plaintiffs concerned that the language within the passages could be used to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens.
The bill calls the sections "inimical to the liberty, security, and well-being of the citizens of the State of Texas," and accuses them of violating numerous protections established by both the U.S. and state constitutions.
The legislation states that it will reject "material support" of the measures' implementation, and goes on to claim that any person found to be exercising powers established in Sections 1021 or 1022 would risk criminal penalties.
GOP state Rep. David Simpson filed a second bill, HB 80, to address alleged overreach by the TSA.
The measure declares that any "intentional" touching of "the anus, breast, buttocks, or sexual organ of the other person, including touching through clothing," without probable cause would be considered a violation of the law. It would also prohibit removing a "child younger than 18 years of age from the physical custody or control of a parent or guardian of the child," and establishes broader restrictions on harassment or inconveniencing those desiring to avoid such searches.
“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," Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said in a statement. "A person doesn’t forfeit her or his personal dignity or Fourth Amendment protections with the purchase of an airline ticket."