Sunday, May 15, 2011

Nullification nonsense

So various state legislatures are trying to nullify Federal laws they don't like? Good luck with that. We've been trying to do that with Federal marijuana legislation here in California for the past 30 years, but the DEA still does regular drug raids.

The typical argument is that the 10th Amendment gives all rights not explicitly dedicated to the federal government to the states. Yawn. William Tecumseh Sherman pretty much nullified the 10th Amendment when he burned and raped his way across South Carolina to punish them for putting state supremacy ahead of federal government supremacy. I'm seeing nothing saying any of this nullification legislation is going to be any more enforcible than South Carolina's declaration of secession from the Union was. Well, South Carolina managed to enforce their secession from the Union for four years, but we all know what happened there in the end... as Governor Earl Long of Louisiana is reputed to have said when the Lege urged him to defy a Federal desegregation order in 1958, "Are you fucking nuts?! We're talking about the U.S. government, they got the goddamned atomic bomb!"

In the latest silliness, the State of Texas is trying to "nullify" the TSA checkpoints in airports. Yeah, good luck with that. Governor Faubus of Arkansas tried something like that too back in 1957. Didn't quite work out for him:

The 101st Airborne kinda outguns and out-mans the Texas Rangers. Just sayin'!

-- Badtux the Reality-based Penguin


  1. That's not how I read that at all. The patdowns will still be allowed--the TSA employees just can't touch “the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person including through clothing."

    Those kinds of patdowns should be banned, since in my opinion they violate the Fourth Amendment. Sorry, my labia is not for a stranger's touching.

  2. While I agree that the TSA patdowns need to be reined in, the notion of a state legislature doing so doesn't pass the 101st Airborne test. We need a federal law passed (or a federal court ruling), not a state law, to rein in TSA misbehavior. If the patdowns are currently legal under federal law, no state law on the books is going to pass the 101st Airborne test. Just ask the late Governor Faubus about how effective "state's rights" are when faced with the 101st Airborne.

    - Badtux the Reality-based Penguin

  3. Basically, how will Texas enforce this nullification? Will they send Texas Rangers to the airport to tell TSA goons (who I also despise, which is why I'm not flying into or through the US any more) to tell the Heimat Seicherheit thugs "Don't touch her/him there"? Will the Rangers arrest TSAssholes who keep feeling? Because if they don't do that, this nullification is null and void, all asshat, no cattle, full of shit like so many things that come out of Texas.

  4. I mentioned the 101st Airborne. But actually, the TSA has an even easier power to use. They can shut down the airport if anybody interferes with their security screening. This is a power implicit under the Commerce Clause -- they can prohibit any interstate flights into or out of an airport, enforced by the FAA with full seizure power over any aircraft that defy the ban. You want to see howling, watch the howling as the George H.W. Bush International Airport is shut down tighter than a drum for as many days as it takes to stop the state of Texas from interfering with the TSA groping you any way they want.

    As I point out above, the Commerce Clause clearly makes this a Federal problem, and it has to be solved on the Federal level. Texass is gonna get their ass handed to them if they try to enforce state law over federal law here, 'cause the Constitution is pretty clear here -- regulating interstate commerce is one of "the" enumerated powers, period.

    - Badtux the Constitutional Penguin

  5. Good explanation about the "we'll shut down this airport if you interfere with us" stuff. Just off the cuff, I don't expect the Texas Lameislature expects to do anything about it anyway, aside from pass some silly-ass legislation that makes them look tough, but does nothing. Don't these jacklegs realize it makes them look foolish if they bark a lot with no bite to back 'em up? I guess it's all done to amuse the rubes who live down there, make 'em feel all rebellious and stuff, so they have something else to cite when they sit around and talk all brave and secessionist. "Yew no how them Federales wooden obey us'ns when we sed no more feelin' at the airport, Merle?"

  6. If all this does is focus more attention on the antics of the minimum wage nazis of the TSA then I'm all for it. For once TX Governor Dickhead is doing something that appeals to all Texans, not just the crazy, lunatic fringe tea party clowns.

    As for the minimum wage nazis -- what kind of wage would you accept in return for violating the fundamental human rights of your fellow citizens for 8 hours a day? For the moment, all they do is stick their finger up your ass. Will it stop there? Will it hell.

    Some things you just don't do, no matter how hungry you are. If no one wanted to work at TSA, there wouldn't be a TSA.

    In my dream world we all have the power to change whatever we want by a simple, one-day work stoppage. If everyone everywhere decided to not fly, just for one day, everything could change. Just as if everyone everywhere decided to stay home from work, say one day every six weeks, thing would change pretty quickly. Alas, my dream world remains but a dream.


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