Some lawmakers in Kansas want a state law that would make it “illegal for Transportation Security Administration screeners to touch an airline passenger’s private parts as they conduct a pat-down,” according to the Kansas City Star newspaper.
“Air travelers are subjected to aggressive, humiliating pat-downs, many of which would land the average stranger off the street in jail,” the newspaper quoted state Rep. Brett Hildabrand, a Republican from Shawnee, as saying. “But because the federal government has given someone a blue uniform and a badge, we are told that person has authority over our bodies and we must endure.”
More than 20 lawmakers are sponsoring the measure. However, despite garnering some interest at a national level, the law may not have a chance of passing the state legislature.
“I think it’s a waste of our time,” The Wichita Eagle quoted state Rep. Louis Ruiz, a Democrat from Kansas City, as saying. “We have law enforcement officers at every level that may abuse their powers. Are we going to make laws for all of them, too?”
Critics have long bemoaned the TSA as a bureaucratic boondoggle. Supporters say the federal agency, founded in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is necessary to ensure the flying public remains safe.
Last June, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., for example, suggested dismantling the TSA, a move he said would have saved taxpayers more than $5.5 billion.
His push fell short, and it wasn’t the first time the Congressman criticized the agency. In May, Broun asked John Pistole, administrator of the TSA, to resign, saying in a letter the federal agency “has become nothing more than a bloated, broken bureaucracy.”