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About the article
Published Online: 2013-04-19
Published in Print: 2013-01-01
Granted, it’s a blog, which sacrifices the depth of the discourse for a quick response, but the TSA’s response is not as nuanced as this issue deserves: “What’s our take on the Texas House of Representatives voting to ban the current TSA pat-down? Well, the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article. VI. Clause 2) prevents states from regulating the federal government” (Transportation Security Administration 2011).
Of course, the presence of multiple airport security laws tailored to the preferences of each state undermines the unifying purpose for which the TSA was created. The presence of a weak link could be exploited by terrorists, thus changing the public’s perception of the costs and benefits of intrusive airline security procedures.
As the dissent notes, however, the commentators have suggested as early as 1954 that nationally elected officials can act as guarantors of constitutional federalism, but the dissent further suggests that then extant reasons for “national action” are no longer valid. On prominent commentator referred to the decision as the “second death of federalism” (Van Alstyne 1985).
First decided in 215 F.3d 986 (9th Cir. 2000) was reversed, 253 F.3d 359 (9th Cir.) and the opinion vacated, 266 F.3d 979 (9th Cir. 2001).