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Texas Airport Groping Bill Dies Amid Protests

Feds warn Texas law would shut airports

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    A bill that would have made it illegal for airport security screeners to “grope” passengers appeared to die in the Texas Senate amid protests.

    A bill that would have made it illegal for airport security screeners to “grope” passengers appeared to die in the Texas Senate on Wednesday after federal officials warned it could lead to closing Texas airports and angry protesters were blocked from entering the Senate chamber.

    State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, withdrew his bill because it didn’t have enough votes to pass, said Patrick’s spokesman, Logan Spence.

    Protesters Angry Over Failure of Airport Screening Bill

    [DFW] Protesters Angry Over Failure of Airport Screening Bill
    State troopers blocked a group of protesters who were demonstrating in support of a withdrawn bill that would regulate airport security from entering the Senate chamber. (Published Wednesday, May 25, 2011)

    The proposal had earlier passed the Texas House. Specifically, it would have outlawed security screeners from touching a person’s genitals or private areas during pat-down searches.

    Federal officials warned lawmakers that a state law would conflict with federal law and could lead to shutting down Texas airports.

    Former Beauty Queen Says Pat-Downs "Violate Our Rights"

    [DFW] Former Beauty Queen Says Pat-Downs "Violate Our Rights"
    Susie Castillo, a former Miss USA, is pushing for changes to airport screening processes. (Published Tuesday, May 3, 2011)

    U.S. Attorney John Murphy wrote in a letter to Texas lawmakers that the proposed law would “criminalize searches that are required under federal regulations,” the Austin American-Statesman reported.

    A few dozen conservative Republicans who supported the bill rallied outside the Texas Senate and were blocked from entering by Texas state troopers.

    Texas Bill Restricting Pat-Downs Unlikely to Become Law

    [DFW] Texas Bill Restricting Pat-Downs Unlikely to Become Law
    Experts say a bill passed by the Texas House that restricts airport pat-downs appears unlikely to become law or be enforced. (Published Friday, May 13, 2011)


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