TSA Critic, Senator Rand Paul, Prevented By TSA From Getting On His Flight To DC

from the he-might-be-a-terrorist dept

Senator Rand Paul has frequently criticized the TSA and its security theater at airports both for being intrusive and (more importantly) for not being effective. He's made the point repeatedly that it's a mistake to simply assume everyone may be a terrorist. So it's interesting to note that Paul himself was unable to board his flight to DC today after the TSA refused to let him through security. Apparently the scanner machine spotted something, and Paul refused a pat down. There was some dispute over whether or not he was "detained." The TSA denies "detention," which actually is an important issue, since you cannot detain elected officials on their way to Congress, according to Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution:
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
While the TSA says this wasn't a detention, it does raise questions over whether or not Senator Paul was "questioned in any other Place" while "going to..." his "respective" House. The White House put out a statement that kinda misses the point:
"I think it is absolutely essential that we take the necessary actions to ensure that air travel is safe, and I believe that’s what TSA is tasked with doing."
Sure, it's essential. But does anyone think that patting down a US Senator has anything to do with ensuring that air travel is safe?

Filed Under: detention, privacy, rand paul, tsa


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2012 @ 2:45pm

    The Five Members

    The Five Members
    Early In January 1642, King Charles I ordered the Attorney-General to indict for treason the five members of the House of Commons and one member of the House of Lords who were most prominent in Parliament's attempt to transfer control of the armed forces away from the Crown. . . .

    On 3 January, a herald was sent to the House of Commons to order that the Five Members be handed over to answer the charges against them. The House refused to comply with the King's command because it was an infringement of parliamentary privilege. The following afternoon, 4 January 1642, Charles marched to Westminster at the head of a body of soldiers and retainers, intending to arrest the Five Members in person. Leaving the soldiers at the door, he entered the Chamber of the House of Commons and  . . . .

    The Five Members were: John Pym, John Hampden, Denzil Holles, Sir Arthur Hesilrige and William Strode. Lord Mandeville (the future Earl of Manchester) was also to be arrested. . . .

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