New Jersey State Senator Michael Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding legislation he is drafting to curb the abuses of civil liberties by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA):
“I am of the belief that our society is founded upon our ability to exercise our individual civil liberties freely, and I stand ready and willing to defend those liberties when they are threatened. It is with great sadness that I have come to recognize that one of our greatest threats have been presented by officials of the TSA that have begun to implement intrusive searches of law abiding Americans who are traveling within our borders,” Doherty stated.
“In response to the attitudes and actions of the TSA and top Obama Administration officials, I am drafting new legislation that will make it perfectly clear that in New Jersey, our constitutionally granted civil liberties are treasured and will be protected. I am calling upon my colleagues in the legislature to step up and co-sponsor legislation that will protect the rights of citizens in New Jersey,” Doherty continued.
“If an individual is touched in a private area during a search, when there is no arrest or probable cause that is affirmed by oath or affirmation, the person who violated that individual’s privacy will be guilty of the crime of “sexual assault”, and will not be immune from prosecution in the state of New Jersey.”
“If an image is generated that provides detail of an individual’s private parts that violates New Jersey’s privacy or child pornography statutes, the person who generated that image will not be immune from prosecution in the state of New Jersey.”
Finally, if imaging technology that uses technologies that are believed by the legislature to be dangerous to individuals due to their broad or random use in security applications such as airports, the state of New Jersey will prohibit such use and will provide no immunity to individuals who violate any New Jersey state law in New Jersey.
“When the federal government is actively limiting the liberties and rights of law-abiding American citizens, the Several States have both a right and obligation to respond to misguided leadership at the federal level,” Doherty concluded. “I believe that one of the founders of the nation addressed this issue most eloquently: ‘They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety,” Ben Franklin.