An astounding Department of Justice threat to cancel airline flights to and from Texas, in addition to underhanded lobbying by TSA representatives, has killed efforts in the state to pass HB 1937, a bill that would have made invasive pat downs by TSA agents a felony.

HB 1937, a bill that would have made it “A criminal act for security personnel to touch a person’s private areas without probable cause as a condition of travel or as a condition of entry into a public place,” was headed for an imminent Senate vote in Texas having already passed the House unanimously 138-0, before the federal government stepped in to nix the legislation.

In a letter sent to Texas lawmakers, including to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, the House Clerk, and the Senate Secretary, U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy threatened to cripple the airline industry in the state if legislators did not back down.

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