POSTED: Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 10:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 2:54pm
LONGVIEW (LONGVIEW NEWS-JOURNAL) — State Rep. David Simpson of Longview presented a bill Wednesday that two years ago drew national attention — along with a federal threat to make Texas a no-fly zone.
Simpson’s so-called pat-down bill — which focuses on invasive airport searches — came close to passing in 2011. He vowed in the interim to re-file the bill, which he did as soon as allowed in November.
“Citizens are being humiliated, and the most private areas of their bodies are being touched,” the Republican representing Gregg and Upshur Counties said Wednesday in laying out his measure to criminalize law enforcement searches that are deemed intrusive.
His bill — also called the groping bill — says all law enforcement or government agents must have probable cause to search a traveler’s most private areas or face a misdemeanor charge of official oppression.
“If it’s not probable cause, they go to jail,” Simpson told the House State Affairs Committee in laying out his House Bill 80.
The bill was left pending in the committee after about 45 minutes of testimony. The action is routine for measures when a committee wants more time to consider witness testimony and other evidence.
“I’m hopeful,” Simpson said later Wednesday. “I think there’s definitely some support on the committee — I don’t know how widespread.”
Read more  from the Longview News-Journal.