‘American Traveler Dignity Act’ Introduced in the House

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  11.19.10 | 2:08 PM ET

The legislation was proposed by Texas Representative Ron Paul, and would strip TSA screeners’ of their immunity from prosecution. From Paul’s speech to the House:

My legislation is simple. It establishes that airport security screeners are not immune from any US law regarding physical contact with another person, making images of another person, or causing physical harm through the use of radiation-emitting machinery on another person. It means they are subject to the same laws as the rest of us.

Moving beyond the current controversy over scanners and pat-downs, Paul also commented more broadly on airline security since 9/11:

I warned at the time of the creation of the TSA that an unaccountable government entity in control of airport security would provide neither security nor defend our basic freedom to travel. Yet the vast majority of both Republicans and Democrats then in Congress willingly voted to create another unaccountable, bullying agency—in a simple-minded and unprincipled attempt to appease public passion in the wake of 9-11. Sadly, as we see with the steady TSA encroachment on our freedom and dignity, my fears in 2001 were justified.

I’m not sure that going after individual screeners with, say, sexual harassment charges really gets to the root of the issue; they aren’t the ones making policy. Still, it’s heartening to see travelers’ concerns being taken up at the highest levels in Washington.  (Via Gadling)