Today, the House of Representatives of the State of Texas debates H.B. 80 (information, full text), a bill to amend their official oppression statute to criminalize requiring genital touching (even through clothes), as well as the separation of parent and child, during security searches incident to transportation. The bill was introduced by Rep. David Simpson, who invited me to testify on the matter.
While I wasn’t able to make it in person, as I got less than 24 hours notice of the hearing, I put together 10 pages of written testimony that highlights the current problems with the TSA and the solutions offered by H.B. 80. H.B. 80 is more well-crafted than predecessors in the Texas legislature that two years ago prompted the TSA to threaten to declare Texas a “no-fly zone,” including text limiting the scope and declaring severability of the clauses.
It’s important that we support efforts like this, because even if the federal government thwarts the legal effect, they cannot thwart the attention that such measures bring to its abuse. If you live in Texas, contact your representative and let them know you support H.B. 80. Likewise, if you know someone who lives in Texas, please pass the message along.