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.

If found guilty, such an agent would be subject to fines, punitive damages and other “equitable relief as the court determines to be appropriate.” Senators Doherty and Allen are the Primary Sponsors, and Senator Van Drew is once again a Co-sponsor. So far, no companion bill has been filed in the Assembly, nor was there one in the previous legislative session.

“The TSA is perhaps the most invasive federal agency in existence – groping old women and babies. It’s obscene,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said. “The states have to step in and put a stop to it, because the TSA will never stop itself.

New Jersey residents can find their state legislators’ contact information by logging on to the New Jersey Legislature’s site and clicking on “Contact Us” on the menu at the top of the page. You will be directed to select your Municipality, which will direct you to your officials’ contact information in the Assembly and Senate.

To track travel freedom legislation across the U.S., click HERE.

To find model TSA legislation you can encourage your legislator to introduce in your state, click HERE.

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