Congress does something that makes sense? And defends average Americans from racial mau mauing? This Congress? I might faint.

House Republicans today surprised Democrats with a procedural vote to protect public-transportation passengers from being sued if they report suspicious activity — the first step by lawmakers to protect “John Doe” airline travelers already targeted in a lawsuit by Muslim imams that charges profiling.
The introduction of a motion to recommit the Rail and Public Transportation Security Act of 2007 back to committee with instructions to add the protective language was introduced by Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Rusty says the measure has passed, 304-121. Which is closer than it ought to be.

Michelle has more.

More: While we’re on the subject of stories that make sense, the lawsuit against former SecDef Rumsfeld has been chucked.

WASHINGTON – Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld cannot be tried on allegations of torture in overseas military prisons, a federal judge said Tuesday in a case he described as “lamentable.”

U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan threw out a lawsuit brought on behalf of nine former prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said Rumsfeld cannot be held personally responsible for actions taken in connection with his government job.

The ACLU had brought the case on behalf of captured terrorists incarcerated at Gitmo. Never wonder again which side the ACLU is on in this war, since they spelled it out pretty clearly that they’re on the terrorists’ side.

Allowing the case to go forward, Hogan said in December, might subject government officials to all sorts of political lawsuits. Even
Osama bin Laden could sue, Hogan said, claiming two American presidents threatened to have him murdered.

“There is no getting around the fact that authorizing monetary damages remedies against military officials engaged in an active war would invite enemies to use our own federal courts to obstruct the Armed Forces’ ability to act decisively and without hesitation,” Hogan wrote Tuesday.

Yes indeed. Which was probably what the ACLU was hoping for.

Update (AP): Here’s the roll. More than 100 Dems voted yes; all 121 no votes were also Democratic.