A former Miss USA's claims of being groped during a pat-down at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport could be a felony under a bill gaining momentum in the Texas Legislature.
The bill would make it illegal for a security officer to intentionally touch someone's private areas - even atop clothing - unless they have probable cause to believe the person is carrying something illegal.
Bill sponsor State Rep. David Simpson says the searches are removing people's dignity.
Last fall the Transportation Security Administration started a new pat-down procedure.
Susie Castillo, crowned Miss USA in 2003, said she was "molested" during a pat-down last April.
TSA spokesman Nicholas Kimball says the agency doesn't comment on pending legislation. He says current security measures are the best ways to mitigate the risk of terrorism.
Opponents of the law will say that it is unconstitutional, as a violation of the Supremacy Clause. They will cite McCulloch v. Maryland:
This great principle is that the Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof are supreme; that they control the Constitution and laws of the respective States, and cannot be controlled by them. From this, which may be almost termed an axiom, other propositions are deduced as corollaries, on the truth or error of which, and on their application to this case, the cause has been supposed to depend. These are, 1st. That a power to create implies a power to preserve; 2d. That a power to destroy, if wielded by a different hand, is hostile to, and incompatible with these powers to create and to preserve; 3d. That, where this repugnancy exists, that authority which is supreme must control, not yield to that over which it is supreme.