Sacred Parchment of the Stonecutters- that it is hard to believe it can be ripped apart any further. But by detaining Senator Rand Paul, the TSA has managed to do just that. Amazing in its own way, I suppose...
First, the salient facts:
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was blocked from boarding a flight Monday by the Transportation Security Administration in Nashville, Tenn., after refusing a full body pat-down, POLITICO has confirmed.
“I spoke with him five minutes ago and he was being detained indefinitely,” Paul spokesperson Moira Bagley said. “The image scan went off; he refused patdown.”
Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), tweeted out news of the incident, saying that there had been an “anomaly” with a body scanner.
“My son @SenRandPaul being detained by TSA for refusing full body pat-down after anomaly in body scanner in Nashville. More details coming,” wrote the authenticated Twitter account of presidential candidate Ron Paul.
So where does a breach of the Constitution come into play? A-ha!
The Speech or Debate Clause is a clause in the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 6, Clause 1) . The clause states that members of both Houses of Congress
...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 from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
The intended purpose is to prevent a President or other officials of the executive branch from having members arrested on a pretext to prevent them from voting a certain way or otherwise taking actions with which the President might disagree.
A dangerous precedent has been set, if Senator Paul can be detained by a quasi-governmental agency without charge. This is an event that should even have those constitution-hatin' liberals up in arms: Can you imagine an evil, despicable, black-hearted Republican president (aren't they all?), working in secret with government officials to stop a Chuck Schumer, or a Debbie Stabenow, from arriving in Washington while the Senate votes on overturning ObamaCare? Or - perish the thought - defunding NPR?
Finally, a bipartisan injustice. I'd chant "Free Rand Paul!", but he's already on the next plane out of town. How about "Hey! Hey! TSA! How many Americans you detain today?"
OK, they both suck. But somebody ought to instruct the TSA in the finer points of constitutionality. Or is that an oxymoron, given what the TSA - and Homeland Security - are all about?