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Friday, May 27, 2011

Utah to Consider Anti-Groping: Lawmaker Seeks to Limit TSA pat-downs



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Utah To Follow Texas Lead In TSA Grope-down Revolt
Steve Watson
Prisonplanet.com
May 27, 2011

Utah looks likely to be the next state to follow the example set by Texas in attempting to make TSA grope downs a felony.
Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman has introduced a bill into the Utah House of Representatives that would ensure TSA agents would have to abide by the same Fourth Amendment limits that police do when performing searches on Americans.
“It is a work in progress,” Wimmer told the Utah Daily Herald. “What it would do right now is simply say TSA agents are not exempt from the requirement of reasonable suspicion or probable cause to pat down a citizen.”
Like the bill that was recently unanimously passed in the Texas House, Wimmer’s legislation would make it an offense to touch the private parts of the person on the receiving end of the pat-down.
As we reported yesterday, the man who was instrumental in working with the federal government to sabotage the Texas bill was Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a former CIA agent and establishment insider considered to be the wealthiest man in Texas politics.
The bill stalled in the Texas Senate, after the Department of Justice sent a letter threatening to impose a no fly zone over Texas and shut down Texas airports. The warning was nothing short of a federal blockade and an act of financial terrorism.
Rep. Wimmer, a long time champion of states rights, told the Utah Daily Herald that it is untrue that the federal government has supremacy over the state of Texas in the matter.
“The absolute overbearing audacity of the federal government in threatening Texas while Texas is trying to protect their citizens should really offend any red-blooded American,” Wimmer said, adding that the issue has been transformed from solely a Fourth Amendment concern to an assault on the Tenth Amendment and states rights.
As a former police officer, Wimmer is adamant that TSA agents should be held up to the same standards as law enforcement officers, and that law abiding citizens should not be subjected to personal searches without reason.
“It does not feel like America when you are going through a TSA checkpoint at the airport,” Wimmer said.
Wimmer’s bill will be considered and debated in the new year when the 2012 legislative session begins in Utah.
Lawmakers in other states, including New Hampshire and California, have already looked into banning TSA gropedowns.
A number of other lobby groups, state and local authorities around the country have also resolved to either block the TSA body scanners or kick the TSA out of airports altogether, including New Jersey, where Republican state Senator Mike Doherty has vowed to push for legislation that will ban both the scanners as well as invasive groping techniques.
Should several more states follow the same example set by Texas, the TSA and the Justice Department will have a major job on their hands threatening half the country with no fly zones and convincing Americans that it is the prudent course of action.
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Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.
Utah lawmaker seeks to limit TSA pat-downs
May 27th, 201
By Randall Jeppesen
www.ksl.com

SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would limit security pat-downs at Utah's airports.
Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, posted on his Facebook page he's working on a bill designed to prohibit Transportation Security Administration pat downs in Utah unless agents have reasonable suspicion. TSA agents would be required to follow standards similar to those used by police in determining suspicion.
Wimmer also posted that Utah needs to stand with Texas. Lawmakers there already are considering a similar bill, House Bill 1937, which states it would be an offense to search a person without probable cause.
A U.S. attorney from San Antonio wrote a letter to Texas lawmakers saying the state has no authority to regulate federal employees and the TSA would likely shut down flights if it could not ensure the safety of the passengers and crew.
The Texas bill passed the House there but appears to have died on its Senate floor.
Wimmer wrote that "it boggles the mind" to think the TSA is exempt from the same restrictions as other law enforcement agencies.
He told the Daily Herald, "It does not feel like America when you are going through a TSA checkpoint at the airport."
He also adds there is still time to work out the details on his bill before Utah's next legislative session in January 2012.
The Herald reports Wimmer is slamming the federal government for threatening Texas because of its proposed law. He says this has become a state's rights issue.

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