U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, son of U.S. Rep. and presidential candidate Ron Paul, was detained by TSA agents this morning after a standoff in Nashville, Tenn.
The younger Paul told his communications director about the airport predicament after he reportedly refused to complete the routine screening process.
Paul staffer Moira Bagley tweeted around 10 a.m., ET Monday , “Just got a call from @senrandpaul. He’s currently being detained by TSA in Nashville.”
A TSA spokesman disputed that Paul was ever “detained” ... but the fact is he was not granted access to the secure area of the airport this morning.
According to TSA officials, Rand Paul triggered an alarm during routine airport screening and refused to complete the screening process (pat-down).
Paul’s office said he set off an airport security full-body scanner “on a glitch,” then raised objections when TSA agents would not let him simply walk back through the body scanner, instead demanding he undergo a full body pat-down.
He refused. Local law enforcement then escorted him out of the area.
The standoff was short-lived, in any case. By late morning, the Kentucky Senator was booked on another flight (and made it through security this time).The issue of pat-downs is an important one to both Rand and Ron Paul, who have mentioned them numerous times as intrusions against American civil liberties.
Moreover, the U.S. Constitution actually protects federal lawmakers from detention while they’re on the way to the Capital for votes ... which Paul was.
According to Article I, Section 6:
“The 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.”
The Senate is back in session today at 2 p.m., with votes scheduled at 4:30 p.m. It is not clear if Rand Paul will make it to Washington by 4:30 p.m.