Law, Meet Maker
Last year after a full-body scan at a Seattle airport, Cissna was singled out for a pat-down, her second, she said, within three months. Cissna is a breast-cancer survivor who has had a mastectomy. She refused the pat-down – seeing it as invasive – and left the airport to return to Juneau, a city accessible only by air or water, by means including a rental car, s mall plane, taxi and ferry.
Cissna also happens to be a State Representative from Alaska (D-Anchorage). In response to this experience,
[Cissna] is lead sponsor of at least four bills that take aim at the TSA. One of those, HB270, would require signs warning of physical searches and electronic devices that use radiation outside TSA checkpoints in airports.
One of Cissna’s other bills other would criminalize anyone who conducts a physically invasive pat-down, which she considers unconstitutional; it is scheduled for a second hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Another bill calls for a study of psychological and physical effects of airport screening. She also wants some of the state’s airports to opt out of TSA requirements.
I hope she is successful. Looking at the wider canvas, this story accentuates the value in subjecting legislators to the laws they help create. In this case, enduring the myriad of indignities perpetrated by the TSA’s security theater as the rest of us do helps connect lawmakers with the consequences of their decisions.
A striking example of failure in this regard is allowing our representatives to have a separate and distinct (and significantly superior) health care program than the rest of us. Making health care reform laws that look good on paper are never connected to real world consequences for the lawmakers. When another piece of paper reports that the first wave of papers haven’t succeeded, lawmakers generate a new set of laws designed to fix the problems in the first set of laws…at least on paper. And so the monster grows ever bigger with a life its own. It is my belief that if lawmakers, by law, had to live with the monsters they help create, perhaps we would have cost effective programs that actually worked.
(Related Slashdot conversation happening here.)
[Graphic credit: boobaloo]