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Contact: Michael Maharrey
O: 213.935.0553 F: 213.402.3938
For Immediate Release: May 25, 2011
Feds threaten to shut down Texas air travel if TSA bill passes
The U.S. Department of Justice bullied Texas lawmakers into backing off proposed legislation that would make invasive TSA pat-downs without probable cause illegal.
HB1937 unanimously passed the Texas House on May 13. A week later, the bill passed favorably out of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee. But a letter delivered to key senators from U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy on Tuesday stopped the bill dead in its tracks.
Murphy threatened to turn Texas into a no-fly zone should the bill become law.
“If HR [sic] 1937 were enacted, the federal government would likely seek an emergency stay of the statute,” Murphy wrote. “Unless or until such a stay were granted, TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of passengers and crew,” he wrote. “We urge that you consider the ramifications of this bill before casting your vote.”
The ominous letter prompted senate sponsor Dan Patrick (R-Houston) to pull the bill.Details