New Jersey Senate vs the TSA

Two pieces of legislation have been reintroduced in the 2012 legislative session of the New Jersey State Senate, both dealing with the Transportation Security Administration’s intrusive procedures adopted at airports in the past year.

The first, SR12 (SR91 in the previous session), is a non-binding resolution urging the TSA to terminate its recent changes to its pat-down procedures and enjoys bipartisan support. The Primary Sponsor is Michael J. Doherty (R-Washington). Diane B. Allen (R – Burlington), Richard J. Codey (D – Livingston), Steven V. Oroho (R-Sparta) and Jeff Van Drew (D – Cape May) have signed on as cosponsors.

The previous legislative session featured a similar resolution in the General Assembly (AR127), but so far,  no record of a companion bill exists in the lower chamber.

The resolution alludes to the invasiveness of TSA pat-down procedures.

“Reports have indicated that in some instances overzealous TSA employees have carried out these new procedures in a manner sufficiently aggressive to rise to the level of an inappropriate invasion of personal privacy, from which an individual would ordinarily be protected under the laws of this State.”

The second bill, S277 (S2509 in the previous session), specifies that certain images generated by body scans violate State statutes prohibiting invasion of privacy, pornography and endangerment of child welfare under certain circumstances. A federal, state or local agent found in violation of this bill, if it becomes a law, would not be considered immune from civil or criminal liability resulting from the creation of such an image.