Push continues for other States to introduce “Traveler’s Bill of Rights”
March 21, 2012
Hawaii Senators this week passed a resolution for a “Traveler’s Bill of Rights”, aimed at making the TSA more accountable and putting a stop to over reach and abuses.
Minority Leader Sam Slom, R-Hawaii, authored the legislation based on Congressman Ron Paul’s American Traveler Dignity Act, at the federal level.
Much like Paul’s bill, the resolution declares that no employee of the federal agency is immune from the law when it comes to pat-downs and the use of potentially harmful radiation scanners on Americans.
Other specific issues include constitutional rights, invasion of privacy and civil rights, child protection and fiscal issues.
Senators on the Hawaii Transportation and Public Safety/Military Affairs committees, unanimously passed the legislation, states the Hawaii Reporter.
Senator Slom is a member of a national, bipartisan legislative caucus, known as the “United States for Travel Freedom” caucus, formed one year ago specifically to oppose TSA intrusions. Slom has also introduced legislation to altogether prohibit the use of non-consensual body scanners.
Representatives from several other states are also on board with the caucus, they include Alaska State Representative Sharon Cissna and Washington State Senator Val Stevens, as well as Republican and Democrat legislators from Alaska, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.
Representative Cissna, R-Alaska, has spearheaded the multi-state effort against the TSA. In her own state she has introduced legislation to criminalize both invasive pat downs and body scans that produce naked images.
Cissna, a 68-year-old cancer survivor who suffered molestation and abuse in her youth, made shock waves back in February of 2011 when she refused to submit to a TSA grope-down and was subsequently prevented from flying from Seattle, Washington to her home in Alaska.
“Ordinary citizens across this country have told us they are being treated like common criminals by the TSA.” said Cissna, in testimony submitted to the Hawaii Legislature.
Cissna also noted that the TSA’s current procedures “do not have verifiable oversight over their equipment and give very poor management and training to their employees.”
“Security is not being served by the current program. We must demand better.” she added.
These latest developments set the stage for another states’ rights battle with the government over the TSA. When Texas lawmakers tried to pass similar legislation last year, the federal government threatened to enforce a no fly zone over the lone star state, and the measure was eventually defeated after a lengthy legislative struggle.
Along with the news last week that several airports are considering evicting TSA screeners, it is now clear that the fight to crush the TSA power grab is making significant headway.