A bipartisan group of New Jersey politicians this afternoon said they intend to press the feds to end the use of airport full-body scanners. With that, the lawmakers are the latest to step into the growing and increasingly controversial fray over the use of the scanners.
The Star-Ledger of Newark writes the group “announced they were introducing resolutions in the state Senate and Assembly asking Congress to review the effectiveness and legality of the TSA screening processes.”
“Enough is enough,” Republican State Sen. Michael J. Doherty tells the Star-Ledger. “We believe there are constitutional violations taking place. We believe there are violations of New Jersey state law taking place.”
“We’re not talking about eliminating security; we’re talking about using security wisely,” Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, a Democrat from Bergen County, says to The Associated Press.
More than 300 of the full-body scanners are now in use at airports across the United States. Newark Liberty — New Jersey’s primary airport and one of the nation’s busiest hubs — began operating its first full-body scanner in October, according to AP.
The scanners have become one of the aviation industry’s top hot-button issues, with critics claiming the scans amount to a “virtual strip search” and raise questions about both safety and privacy.
Others — including top Transportation Security Administration officials — say the machines pose no significant health risks and are needed as a tool in the effort to safeguard against terrorism.
“Each and every one of the security measures we implement serves an important goal,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano writes in a column for USA Today.