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
    M, 23 Jan 2012 @ 6:05pm

    Have you read the damn article?

    Mike, I usually enjoy your articles, but this time you failed to understand something - something that most people missed, in fact. He WAS NOT on his way to the Senate! He was going to speak at the "Right to Life" rally! He says so himself in the video on the ABC article. So there was no law being broken.

    Now besides that, the TSA is bullshit and shouldnt be allowed to do this in the first place, but I am glad that they didn't give him any special treatment. He was on his way to speak somewhere, but had no official thing to go to (as opposed to going to a Senate vote or something), that makes him just another citizen. They're crappy rules the TSA has, but if you're going to have them, dont give special breaks to people.

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