This week, lawmakers in Texas have introduced state legislation to stop the government from using porno-scanners against the people.
Texas HB 1938 — featured in a story on the Drudge Report today — would impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per day per violation for any airport owned by a local government (i.e., all of the ones that matter) that installs or operates any device “that uses backscatter x-rays or millimeter waves, that creates a visual image of a person’s unclothed body and is intended to detect concealed objects.”
They’ve also introduced another bill, HB 1937, that would authorize state and local prosecutors to bring felony charges against TSA agents who sexually assault innocent airline passengers by touching their sexual organs, breasts, or anus.
As this moves forward, look for legal scholars — including certain libertarians who live in and around the nation’s capital — to argue that states aren’t allowed to impose penalties on the feds like this. Why? Because, they’ll say, the Supreme Court says so. But of course that misses the point. The point is that we do not and should not care what the federal government says about the law if it is violating libertarian rights that the Constitution supposedly protects. If the Supreme Court really did its ostensible job and struck down unconstitutional legislation, this kind of action by Texas wouldn’t be necessary. But the Supreme Court never strikes anything down, so the states and the people must take the protection of their so-called constitutional rights into their own hands. That’s what nullification is all about.
By the way, this bill came about thanks in large part to the heroic efforts of LRC contributor and Libertarian Christians blogger Norman Horn. And see the movement’s websites at www.tsatyranny.com, www.supportdignity.com, and www.stopaustinscanners.org.9:25 am on March 5, 2011 Email Jacob Huebert