Wednesday, May 25, 2005

House to cops: Get it in writing

The House had been primed; Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen) was there even at night when the Senate wasn't in session, pushing his consent-search bill. Just before midnight, it passed the House 96-41. It means that when cops stop a car without probable cause, they must make a written or taped record of the driver's consent to search it. The bill had remarkable force behind it: The NRA supported it alongside the ACLU, and as Rep. Jim Jackson spoke weakly against it, some Republicans shouted "vote! vote!" During this heckling, Will Harrell, the Texas ACLU's director, stood in the gallery and waved his finger in an "aye" sign.