2011/05/26

Is TSA "Groping" Bill Junk Legislation?

I testified against HB 1937 before the Committee for reasons discussed here.  It is a poorly conceived effort to solve this and other problems of unconstitutional federal action, given the existing state of judicial support for such unconstitutional action. The present legal reality is that "federal agent" is now a title of nobility, and federal agents may murder, rape, steal, or do anything they want, protected by the judicial doctrine of official immunity. If federal courts were still devoted to the Constitution, a bill like HB 1837 would be okay, but they are not. What is needed is a more subtle, comprehensive approach, and I have proposed one that might work: the establishment by amendment to the Texas Constitution of a Federal Action Review Commission, a grand jury empowered to hear citizen complaints of federal usurpations, and if it found them unconstitutional, that finding would trigger a requirement for all state officials, agents, and contractors to refuse to cooperate in any way with such usurpations, and encourage private citizens to do the same. Since the state is not allowed to represent citizens in court who might do so, it would provide a fund to pay the legal and other expenses of those who thus resisted. This would engage the entire state in concerted non-violent civil disobedience, which is about the only way left to us to get the central government to abandon its unconstitutional practices.

However, now that the U.S. Attorney has foolishly threatened the State if it merely passes the bill, we have no choice but to go ahead and pass it, and I urge the Legislature to do so. My proposal would be a far better solution, but we must not yield to such pressure.

University of Texas law professor Robert Chesney makes the common mistake of treating all enactments, statutes, regulations, or administrative policies as "law". Other than constitutions, only statutes are law and only if they are constitutional. Most federal statutes are unconstitutional. Not just some provisions of a few of them. Most of them. It is long past time to proclaim the emperor has no clothes. We need to stop pretending the central government is clothed by the Constitution when it is not.

The U.S. Congress passes about 20,000 unconstitutional provisions a year that could be challenged in court as separate issues. That is far too many to be addressed one at a time by state legislation like HB 1937. We need a more comprehensive approach that can tackle them all.

As for the Ninth Amendment, there are plenty of people who are defending it, especially law professor Randy Barnett. More can be found here.  We are still a minority, but you can help spread our message.

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