A transpartisan coalition on state legislators in New Jersey held a press conference yesterday to announce their intention to seek an end to the TSA’s porno scanner and grope procedures.

Republican Mike Doherty and Democrat Valerie Vaneri Hottell joined Deborah Jacobs, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Jersey to unveil legislation calling on Congress to cancel the program.

Also on hand was Republican Senator Diane Allen, who only recently returned to the job after a bout with breast cancer:

“Those of us who have been through cancer therapy and have had massive amounts of radiation have been told by our doctors not to have any other radiation unless absolutely necessary,” said Allen.

Allen flies frequently. And if she can’t step into the screening machines, she said, “my option is to go through this pat-down where people are having themselves violated.”

As Robert Cruickshank said, this is an important “teaching moment” on the importance of civil liberties:

For nine years Americans have gone along with abrogations of their rights and invasions of their privacy in the name of security. This has not been isolated, but is part of a broader trend of undermining basic rights and legal procedures in the name of anti-terrorism. Whether it’s waterboarding of terrorist suspects, indefinite detentions at Guantanamo Bay, or government spying on peaceful protestors, the basic philosophy has been that rights are secondary to security. As the TSA agent told Tyner, “you gave up a lot of rights when you bought your ticket.”

It’s the TSA who should be investigated here, not John Tyner. As Robert says, “no government agency should have the right to sexually assault a member of the public; our 4th Amendment rights matter deeply.”

It doesn’t seem to matter what side of the aisle you’re on, this is a bridge too far.

Sign the petition demanding Congress investigate the TSA’s porno scanners, aggressive groping, and abuses of power.