Wednesday, May 25, 2011

An Open Letter to Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry: Don’t Let the TSA Grope Texas
By Wesley Strackbein

Governor Perry:

Washington has betrayed the Constitution—will you dare to defend our rights?

Last night, Texans were shocked to learn that the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) and the TSA had threatened the Lone Star State with a no-fly zone unless Texas legislators halted efforts to stop the TSA from violating our dignity and constitutional rights through the enactment of H.B. 1937, a bill that passed unanimously in the Texas House several weeks ago.

On behalf of all liberty-loving Texans, I appeal to you to give formal notice to Washington that our state will not be bullied into slavish submission to tyranny. I urge you to take prompt and decisive action as our governor in lending vocal and public support of H.B. 1937. It is imperative that we enact this bill into law to protect our families from having their private parts touched without probable cause.

In your book, Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington, you state that it’s time to “change the course of history . . . by exercising the power of the states to stop blindly accepting every demand the federal government makes. . . . it is not enough to be fed up. We must act.”

If you are serious in your intentions, then you should take a cue from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, men you quote in your book Fed Up!

In 1798, these key Founding Fathers rose to oppose tyranny when Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts which violated the First Amendment’s right to free speech and the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause. In response to these unconstitutional edicts, Jefferson and Madison separately drafted resolutions for the individual states to take up in their legislatures to oppose the abusive acts. Jefferson’s work became the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, and Madison’s the Virginia Resolutions of 1798.

In the Kentucky Resolutions, Jefferson stated “that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

Madison was equally direct. In the Virginia Resolutions, he declared that “the powers of the federal government” are “limited by the plain sense and intention” of the Constitution “and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”

In maintaining that the states were “duty bound, to interpose,” Madison was standing on a long legal tradition dating back to the Magna Charta when England’s nobles demanded that King John honor the rights of Englishmen or be deposed. Black’s Law Dictionary defines interposition as follows:

The doctrine that a state, in the exercise of its sovereignty, may reject a mandate of the federal government deemed to be unconstitutional or to exceed the powers delegated to the federal government. The concept is based on the 10th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reserving to the states powers not delegated to the United States. Implementation of the doctrine may be peaceable, as by resolution, remonstrance or legislation, or may proceed ultimately to nullification with forcible resistance.

Jefferson and Madison weren’t rogue constitutional theorists. They were among the primary architects of America’s documents of freedom—the Declaration of Independence and Constitution—and they called for individual states to reject unconstitutional usurpations of liberty by the federal government and to interpose in defense of their citizens.

Thankfully, the conflict over the Alien and Sedition Acts ended when Jefferson was elected President in 1800, and these unconstitutional laws expired.

The fight against the TSA may not be won so quickly. Yet the stakes are clear: The TSA’s policy to violate Americans’ 4th Amendment guarantee “to be secure in their persons” has shown them to be traitors to the Constitution.

The TSA and DOJ’s threat yesterday to shut down our commercial airports if the Texas legislature enacts H.B. 1937 begs for a leader to step forward to say “enough is enough.”

You could be just the man to lead this movement. In Fed Up! you plainly state: “Our primary line of defense against the tyranny of an expansive and meddlesome federal government are the states.”

Will you make good on our rhetoric? Texans, along with Americans in general, are fed up with the TSA’s invasion of their 4th Amendment privacy rights, and they’re looking for a bold leader to check Washington’s tyranny at the Constitution’s gate.

Governor Perry—will you dare to defend our rights?

Will you cowboy up and assert that Texas won’t abide heavy-handed threats to shut down our commercial airports or permit government bureaucrats to search persons in Texas unless there is legitimate cause to suspect them of a crime?

Are you prepared to tell Washington: “You can’t grope Texas”?

If so, your stand against tyranny could redound to the great good of millions—and you’ll be recognized as a heroic defender of liberty.

If not, you’ll be remembered as just another politician who talked a good talk to keep your place in power. And your book Fed Up! will be known by all to not be worth the paper it’s printed on.

Which will it be?

Liberty-loving Texans and Americans are watching.


Wesley Strackbein

A seventh-generation Texan and Co-Founder of

1 comment:

Nick Jesch said...

Excellent letter, solidly based in law.

I do wonder.. so what if the feds "close down" Texas to commercial air travel? What will they do, order Army figher jets to shoot down airliners leaving or entering Texas airspace? HOW could they possibly enforce this? Impose martial law? Refuse, through orders to Air Traffic Controllers at out of state airports to refuse landing requests from planes outbound from Texas, forcing them to crazh when they run out of fuel in the holding patterns?

I do believe this issue, TSA's incredible tyranny, could well be the Line we will not allow them to cross, just as in 1775 our Forefathers determined what that line would be.... and stood their ground when General Thomas Gage did send troops to cross it.

It seems we will find out what Governor Rick Perry is REALLY made of....