Lawmakers Move To Make TSA Patdowns A Felony (POLL)

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General passenger unease with the TSA's patdown procedures is one thing. But now lawmakers from several states are making a commotion to make the patdowns a felony, USA Today reports.

In a week when the Tweeted photo of a baby getting a patdown went viral (and was even mocked by Conan O'Brien), the issue is clearly a hot-button topic.

"What's going on is a trampling of the Constitution," New Jersey Republican state Sen. Michael Doherty told USA Today. Doherty is among the lawmakers from four states who have introduced legislation that would restrict federal security employees from administering patdowns, and would ban the use of the also-controversial body scanners.

Similar legislation has been introduced in Hawaii, New Hampshire and Texas. Alaska has already passed a resolution over the patdowns following an episode in which state lawmaker Rep. Sharon Cissna refused a patdown at the Seattle airport.

Texas' bill would make it a crime to use body scanners, while New Hampshire's legislation would make patdowns of flyer's private parts a sex crime.

The one hitch in all of this? States have no authority over federal agencies. Yet Alan Rosenthal, a professor of public policy at Rutgers, told the paper: "It's a way of getting attention and objecting to the intrusiveness of the search procedures."

Meanwhile, on Thursday, House Republicans made a move to deny the $76 million needed to introduce an additional 275 body scanners into airports, the Associated Press reports.

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