The Founders worried about the members of the Senate or the House being detained or arrested by local, State or even Federal law enforcement so set up a specific section within the Constitution prohibiting the detainment or arrest of a Senator or Member of Congress while that person is traveling to or from a session of their respective chambers. The Founders wanted to insure members of the legislature could move back and forth from sessions without worrying about being arrested or detained. The only exception would be if that member was being detained or arrested for an act of treason, a commission of a felony, or a breach of the peace. The Constitution plainly states:
Article 1, Section 6 Exerpt: “They (Senators and Representatives) 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 returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.”
I am sure the Founders did not anticipate air travel and our illustrious TSA! But, that does not matter. When Rand Paul was “detained” by the TSA, by not allowing him to pass through the screening area into the secured boarding area of the airport, they were in fact arresting him via “custodial detention” and prohibiting him from advancing towards his attendance at an open session of the Senate…
After 10 years, don’t you think even our government could have come up with a way to permit Members of Congress to pass through TSA checks with minimal disruption? Especially of they are enroute to a session of Congress. Even the folks at “Clear Pass” came up with a methodology to pre-screen for security clearance and came up with a bio-optic card to permit quicker access.
You would think that the Obama administration would be a little sensitive about detaining Senators but Jay Carney, the Obama puppet, said; “I think it is absolutely essential that we take necessary actions to ensure that air travel is safe.” Wow, so now sitting US Citizens represent a threat to air travel. I is not surprising that this administration would turn their back on Article 1, Section 6 as they seem to only read those sections of the Constitution that they like or obey laws that they agree with… It is a long list.
I wish Senator Paul would push this more and perhaps he will. This is not only an indictment of the TSA process as a whole but the flagrant disregard for the rule of law by this administration.