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Real-ID Passes U.S. Senate 100-0

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the shock-shock-horror dept.

Privacy 1556

jeffkjo1 writes "The U.S. Senate has passed the $82 billion Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill (approved by the House last week), which includes the Real ID act driver's license reform (previously reported here.) The National Governors Association has indicated at the possibility of a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Real ID provisions, which would create national driver's license standards, and a federal database of information from all 50 states."

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Something is fishy (5, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12494990)

You know, I remember when they had an Election in Iraq right before the U.S. invaded. I think the vote was 100% for Saddam Hussien. The problem with that is that in almost any real democratic process there are always two or more sides

Re:Something is fishy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495007)

You know, I remember when they had an Election in Iraq right before the U.S. invaded. I think the vote was 100% for Saddam Hussien. The problem with that is that in almost any real democratic process there are always two or more sides
Or, there is a distinct possibility, that this is actually a good idea, and people in the Senate could theoretically recognize that.

Re:Something is fishy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495009)

And in any real Democratic process there's always occasions when everyone can agree too. Having a Democracy doesn't mean that people have to always take the opposite side just to be opposing.

Not that I'm saying this time was a good time for it (though I honestly can't see a big deal with the ID), I'm just seeing your logic as faulty.

Re:Something is fishy (4, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495137)

Its not about logic, its about the phenomenonal result of how democracy works. When the numbers are small, like just 100 people voting, then its a lot easier to have a 100% majority, but when the number of voters is 24 million (in the case of Iraq), then a real 100% majority is just plain impossible, unless you "exclude" people, etc. Which is what people speculate happened (ie, violent intimidation). But from all the congress vote results I remember, there is rarely a 100% majority, especially on something so controversial.

Re:Something is fishy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495027)

I dont see how the parent comment is offtopic. The story states that the bill passed with 100% margin and the comment points out that we (american press and politics) view a 100% margin as a sign of a lack of democracy.

The comment was dead on the moderation left something to be desired.

Re:Something is fishy (1)

SuperPunch (660987) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495091)

Wow it's like a bad dream.

Fix the Game (5, Insightful)

mbrod (19122) | more than 9 years ago | (#12494996)

They really need to make it so they cannot attach measures like this to bills that have absolutely nothing to do with them.

Re:Fix the Game (4, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495016)

It's called a "rider" ... and it's been part of American politics for as long as America's been around.

I just wish the filibuster had held out longer.

Re:Fix the Game (1)

ral315 (741081) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495040)

Never gonna happen. Every senator wants to get some pork barrel added to a different bill, and as long as that incentive is there, nothing's gonna change.

Re:Fix the Game (5, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495045)

We did that in Minnesota recently, and just recently a conceal and carry handgun bill was thrown out by the courts because it was attatched to unrelated legislation.

I don't really care about the conceal and carry law either way, but I was glad to see unrelated amendments banned from legislation.

Re:Fix the Game (1)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495154)

Unfortunately I suspect those in washington are not as smart as us in minnesota :(

Re:Fix the Game (1)

Janitha (817744) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495048)

That would be a nice step, but I doubt that change will come any time soon.

Well now to start tampering with the RFID goodness which is said to be put into this RealID. If I am correct, this will allow them to ID me by having a detector near the id, so possibly having the ability to scan people on the go, so I guess its time to invest in some sort of a RFID sheilding technology.

Re:Fix the Game (1)

rah1420 (234198) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495149)

some sort of a RFID sheilding technology.

ITYM "Reynolds Wrap."

Re:Fix the Game (2, Interesting)

wft_rtfa (882194) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495052)

Maybe the bills should have some sort of word limit, to limit the measures like this and pork from being added to bills that get passed.

If a bill is longer than the US constitution, than it is too long, and congress really shouldn't be voting on legislation that is so long that none of the senators even have time to read it all.

They have this in Indiana... it doesn't work... (5, Interesting)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495109)

In the state legislature in Indiana it's against the rules to attach riders to bills that have nothing to do with the bill itself.

In this last legislative session, this got to be a real problem because political maneuvers blocked 100s of bills from being introduced, allowing only several dozen bills through.

Following the rules, the bills should've died. Instead they were attached to the existing bills through "creative interpretation".

Some bills couldn't get handled this way no matter how much bending of the wording they could do. In those cases, they stripped the entire language of the bill out and replaced it with the language of the more important bill. (For instance, Bill xxx "Raise the speed limit from 65 to 70" was gutted and became a bill to enact Daylight Savings Time... but was still titled the "speed limit bill".

So as you see, it doesn't matter what restrictions are put on the process. Politicians will get their way.

Re:Fix the Game (5, Informative)

Cainam (10838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495129)

You should join [] in their attempt to pass the "Read the Bills Act of 2005" [] . The Act would make it law for all bills to actually be read by each legislator, which could cut down considerably on unrelated riders. In any event, it has to be a good thing for lawmakers to have read the laws they're voting on!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12494998)

fp Real-ID sucks!

Ass Bags (1)

extremescholar (714216) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495001)

I hate to swear, but God Damn It! When will these people wake up? Damn, damn, damn!

100-0 (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495002)

So much for the loyal opposition.

Re:100-0 (5, Interesting)

Yi Ding (635572) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495037)

Problem is, no one can oppose this bill. It'd be like the trouble Kerry got into x100. The only thing they can do is offer amendments. The senate version of the bill didn't even have the Real ID language, but the joint meeting added most of it back.

Re:100-0 (2, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495065)

No sentator wanted election-loser attack ads saying "Senator so-and-so voted AGAINST sending badly needed money for our troops!".

Fuck the troops. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495092)

That's the message this bill is sending. What's the point of protecting liberties by force of arms when they can apparently be legislated away? Inalienable, my ass.

Re:100-0 (2, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495145)

Well, now we know, anytime a Republican wants a bill to pass, they can just add it as a rider to a military budget bill.

This is mind boggling. It's like...

1. Bribe the military by writing up a law that gives them billions of $$$.
2. Tack on whatever you want.
3. Opposition to your bill's response: ?????
4. End of democracy!

I don't even know what's so inherently bad about a nationalized ID card system or having standards for state driver's licenses -- it's more in how they're used and what can be done with them, which doesn't seem all that more bad than what can be currently done with the current hodgepodge of State ID systems. But this method of passing legislation sucks ass. Maybe next time Bush wants to get an up-or-down vote on a nominee he can send the nominee into the senate with a big cask full of freshly minted 1000 dollar bills earmarked for the Almighty Military.

Re:100-0 (5, Insightful)

sgant (178166) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495135)

This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.

Well if this wasn't obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495005)

...we clearly aren't bribing, er "lobbying" them enough.

Is it just me... (3, Insightful)

Joe Jordan (453607) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495006)

Or do these post-it notes tacked on to unrelated bills need to be stopped?

Re:Is it just me... (1)

bubkus_jones (561139) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495028)

I thought they were paper clipped?

Notes about the minority (4, Interesting)

odano (735445) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495011)

I was watching this debated on CSPAN, and a lot of senators in the minority were not happy about voting for this, but of course they cannot have a vote against emergency military funding on their record, so they were forced to.

If you want to see the real masterminds of this bill, it is the majority party, who according to a few of the minority democrats are abusing their power by passing a bill without having the chance to debate it on the floor of the senate.

Forced to, my ass. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495051)

Principle. A long-forgotten word in politics.

Re:Forced to, my ass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495105)

Who attached the national id bill to the emergency funding bill (necessitated by Bush's war-gone-awry in Iraq)?

Re:Forced to, my ass. (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495126)

Not that long-forgotten. In the 90s, a Republican switched to the Independent party to prevent his (former) party from getting the majority. (I don't remember if it was house or senate...I wasn't old enough to be particularly interested in politics at the time.)

He may have garnered national attention, but I don't think he was re-elected the next time around.

Re:Notes about the minority (2, Insightful)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495089)

They could have something like this on their record if they weren't collectively a bunch of politically motivated fucks*. If they really cared they would have openly voted against it on the principal that the two issues don't belong in a bill together.

* and how did they get into power? People who are either too forgiving or too stupid -- OR BOTH -- gave it to them. Government by the people, against the people.

Re:Notes about the minority (2)

antiMStroll (664213) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495098)

You no longer have a representative government. The Experiment's over.

Re:Notes about the minority (4, Insightful)

kitzilla (266382) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495099)

but of course they cannot have a vote against emergency military funding on their record, so they were forced to.

Ah ... just like they were "forced" to vote in favor of the Iraq war, only to oppose it come election time? Fine leadership style.

I've come to expect dracononian legislation from the Republikans, but the Democrats should be ashamed. Not so much as a whimper. Spineless, gutless wonders.

Another Green vote in 2008 ...

Bullshit Re:Notes about the minority (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495127)

No one was forced to do anything. If they are forced to, then what are they doing there? If they don't have the freedom to make decisions, then why bother? The fact is they ARE free to make decisions and they could have voted no if they wanted to. Next time either of my senators are up for re-election, I'm voting no on them, because I have just as much choice as they do.

Re:Notes about the minority (1, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495138)

. . .of course they cannot have a vote against emergency military funding on their record. . .



Your Papers Please (3, Insightful)

Shashvat (676991) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495012)

A lot of western european democracies (Belgium, Finland) have national ID cards. But their government isn't as powerful as the US Federal government.

Re:Your Papers Please (4, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495075)

While I wouldn't disagree with that, I think the argument against it here is that given the past actions and power grabs by the US federal govt, measures like this could likely be used to extend that power further.

It's not the measure itself, but the method behind it. Since 9/11 there has been an enormous extension of authority on the part federal police and intelligence officials. There seems to be an attitude in Washington that they need to assume control over all critical information pertaining to anyone in the country to combat terrorism.

This is not only demonstrably unnecessary, but may serve to create a menace even worse than the terrorists of today in the long run if we are not careful.

Re:Your Papers Please (3, Interesting)

Janitha (817744) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495096)

I guess what has been voted has been done, while they are at it, it would be nice if they included some sort of flash memory onboard the ID card, and have slots. Would be nice if this can replace all my other credit cards, and stuff plus have blank slots where more data can be written for custom purposes such as Work place access, local business's premium stuff, and even the passcodes and so on for your computer. One ID to rule them all (privacy wise this will suck, tech-wise this will rude)

Re:Your Papers Please (1)

wintermute1000 (731750) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495119)

A lot of Western European countries also have privacy laws that are actually enforced.

Next Stop: The Courts the GOP wants to Neuter (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495015)

Once in our lives, it would be great if a bill was introduced without riders, without hidden proposed laws that are enacted once the main bill passes.

Oh that's right. Those clean bills already happens when Congress votes itself a big, fat payraise for screwing over the citizens of the country.

Re:Next Stop: The Courts the GOP wants to Neuter (2, Insightful)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495067)

This is why there should be a constitutional ammendment that killing congressman should be a crime not punishable by more than $50 fine and/or 80 hours community service.

Don't want someone to be able to legally murder you? Don't run for public office.

Time to move (1)

OneArmedMan (606657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495018)

I'd say "come to Australia" , but we are heading in the same direction ... sorry guys and gal's

Oh my (2, Insightful)

HecticEclectik (854779) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495022)

I cannot believe with so many people raising awareness and complaints to this issue our elected officals voted so strongly in favor of this bill. That's it... I quit voting

Re:Oh my (2, Interesting)

pmazer (813537) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495117)

I can, after I recieved the EXACT SAME prefabricated email after I sent an email against the Real ID act and again after I sent a response to that email reputing my senators claims. Shows that they don't ever even attempt to read the emails. Here's a copy:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 418, the "REAL ID Act of 2005." I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.

The 9-11 Commission's terrorist travel report states that abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior enforcement worked together to support terrorist activities. The commission recommended reducing terrorist travel options so that terrorists will be forced to rely on means of interaction which can be more easily monitored, as well as travel documents more easily detectable for fraud.

The REAL ID Act contains four provisions aimed at disrupting terrorist. The first deals with monitoring driver's licenses as a form of identification to a Federal official. It is not trying to regulate states' policies for those who may or may not drive a car, but rather to ensure that people are who they say they are. Second, this legislation will tighten our asylum laws. The primary method the 9-11 terrorists used to remain in our country was immigration fraud. This legislation will reduce immigration fraud while still protecting legitimate asylum seekers. Third, the REAL ID Act will waive federal laws to the extent necessary to complete gaps in the San Diego border security fence. Finally, this legislation makes aliens deportable from the U.S. for terrorism- related offenses to the same extent that they would be inadmissible to the United States to begin with.

As you know, H.R. 418 was introduced in the House of Representatives on January 26, 2005. On February 10, 2005, H.R. 418 passed the House of Representatives. On February 14, 2005, the bill was received by the Senate.

Since September 11, 2001, President Bush and Congress have made numerous efforts to help make our country safe from terrorism. As your United States Senator, rest assured that I will make every effort possible to ensure that the atrocities that occurred on that day never occur again. The REAL ID Act will make America a safer place, and is endorsed by the 9-11 Families for a Secure America, an association of family members of 9-11 victims.

Again, thank you for contacting me on this important matter. If I can be of assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to let me know. In the meantime, if you would like to receive timely email alerts regarding the latest congressional actions and my weekly e-newsletter, please sign up via my web site at:


Saxby Chambliss United States Senate

Re:Oh my (5, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495147)

I cannot believe with so many people raising awareness and complaints to this issue our elected officals

Maybe your idea of "so many" is a little off, and maybe "awareness and complaints" don't alter the actual facts:

1) There's nothing in state motor vehicle licensing databases that a federal investigator can't get to anyway

2) A consistent set of standards by which people (notably, of course, immigrants - legal or not) need to prove who they are before they get an item as enabling (in terms of access, banking, and so on) as a driver's license is.... well, not crazy, or draconian, or anything other than reasonable.

That's it... I quit voting

That'll fix it! Or, really, it gives you even more room to whine, I guess. How about making a more persuasive case that we should let some states issue official IDs (which are then honored in other states) without worrying about who the person actually is? Tough sell? Yes, it is... and is why you don't see our representatives acting like it's an inherently bad idea to smooth out the discrepancies in the process. Streamlining and further validating the process will save money, lives, and time. The downside would be... let's see, a situation where it's harder for liars to get mainstream IDs?

It remains to be seen... (1)

dex22 (239643) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495026) this will affect the millions of tourists who fly into and within the US every year, bringing billions of dollars of revenue to the US. Will these people be refused permission to fly? Will they be issued federally approved ID on entry? Or will they just go somewhere else?

Re:It remains to be seen... (1)

nydanceboy (708980) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495114)

A tourist can use a valid passport board planes.

Re:It remains to be seen... (1)

corrosive_nf (744601) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495124)

yeah, its called a visa.

Re:It remains to be seen... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495162)

FYI, Im going somewhere else. And I already had a H1B issued. I dont want to be fingerprinted like a criminal. Keep your country and your dollars, they arent worth what they used to be. I'll take euros instead, just like the middle east is starting to do.

I'm ecstatic. (5, Funny)

fuchsiawonder (574579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495030)

I'm so thankful this is going to come to pass. Finally, I don't have to hunt through multiple databases to swipe all of the pertinent information about someone. It's all collected in one place for easy access. Thanks, DC!

Not so bad.... (1, Interesting)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495031)

Why is this so bad? You won't get bitched at when going to a bar out of state for them not knowing your state's ID system, no more passports maybe?, and everything is in one spot.

Of course, there's those that say, I don't want my info stolen... it's all in one place? Shit! I'm gonna get screwed here. Okay, if someone wanted your info, they could get it. You not giving it out doesn't help that much.

As long as someone can't just read some RFID signal from 20 feet away, it doesn't sound too bad to me. Especially if they add the digital pictures and fingerprints. Seems more secure that what we have now. What WOULD be cool is a fingerprint reader just to view contents. That way, nobody can see anything in it unless you authorize it...

Re:Not so bad.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495172)

Why is this so bad? You won't get bitched at when going to a bar out of state for them not knowing your state's ID system

Any bar that hassles people for unfamiliar out-of-state IDs is run by incompetents. It only costs about $25 per year for an updated copy of the ID Checking Guide. []

Doesn't this fly in the face of States Sovereignty (3, Interesting)

CygnusXII (324675) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495032)

I know many States have Constitutions of their own .htm [] , ad We are a United Nation of Sovereign States, so Doesn't this fly in the face of each States Rights to rule themselves? I do not pretend to be a Constitutional Scholar, but this just seems to be (SO WRONG) on so many levels it isn't funny.

Re:Doesn't this fly in the face of States Sovereig (1)

AgentUSA (251620) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495047)

State's rights are as dead as a balanced budget.

Re:Doesn't this fly in the face of States Sovereig (2, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495062)

Stuff like this typically happens under the guise of federal funding. As in, "If you want federal money for your road infrastructure, you're going to do this."

Take the national speed limit, for example.

Re:Doesn't this fly in the face of States Sovereig (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495074)

If a state has a law that is different from a federal one, either the state or the federal one overrides the other... just don't remember which was it went :/ I would imagine that the federal one would override the state law though (and that's what I remember seeing... but not 100%)

Re:Doesn't this fly in the face of States Sovereig (2)

PingXao (153057) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495086)

Nonsense. No state is forced to do anything. Just as no state is forced to set the drinking age to 21.

Seriously, your state is free to ignore this bit of Big Brother government. Of course you will be unable to procure any federal services or benefits if your state chooses to ignore it. The tyrrany grows. While the sheeple watch American Idol the coporatists laugh all the way to the bank with the politicians in their pockets.

Welcome to Amerika. I will examine your papers now.

Yes. (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495120)

"State Sovereignty died at Appomattox." -Salmon P. Chase, US Supreme Court Justice, 1864-73

Re:Doesn't this fly in the face of States Sovereig (2, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495153)

Y'know, you're making my brain hurt. Let's do this in order.

1: *ALL* States have a constitution of their own, that defines the powers that the persons of the state endowed their government with. I do believe that all 50 states (or, 48 states and 2 commonwealths) currently have constitutions that were based on the federal constitution, and whose current form was adopted after Washington took office. (Some many times; NY's current Constitution, for example, is, IIRC, less than 100 years old.)

2: The states, while seperate, are *NOT* sovereign. Each state is subject to the law of the US Constitution, which explicity notes certian things that can be done only by the states or that cannot be done by any state.

3: The current "Real ID" law is, to my understanding, based in the twin areas of interstate trade and national security, both firmly vested in the federal government. If you don't mind never getting a passport and never taking the plane, you can probably avoid entering into this database--although there will be a fair bit of hardship on your part.

4: You are *already* required to identify yourself when you board a plane, when you get a passport, and when you do any of the other things that you would use RealID for. The federal government *already* can track and aggregate all of the information that it or any government in the United States collects on you. And, ALL of this information is protected by the same kind of legal protection that your yearly tax forms are protected by--and trust me, the government knows FAR more about you from your taxes than they can get from your driver's license.

5: It's worth noting that, if there's only one place where all of your information is stored by the government, then realistically you will be able to use this to much more effectively defeat identity theft. Prove to one federal judge (or even a state judge...) that you are the real CygnusXII and that other guy in Pittsfield is a fraud, and it's a done deal.

Ever Consider?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495039)

that maybe this is actually a good bill? I know its a big shock and horror to slashbots here, but not everybody thinks like you. There are many other people who don't think this Real ID is some horrible invasion of privacy or unconstitutional.

I know, you'll mod me troll, but slashbots need to get over themselves sometimes. While you can scream about "chilling effects", or "slippery slopes" all you want, the US hasn't turned into a facist state in spite of all these predictions on this site for the last 7+ years.

Re:Ever Consider?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495140)

While you can scream about "chilling effects", or "slippery slopes" all you want, the US hasn't turned into a facist state in spite of all these predictions on this site for the last 7+ years.


Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism []

What's the friggin point anymore (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495043)

You do the representative democracy thing, you protest legislation you FAX your senators and representatives like crazy and they don't even listen!! They didn't even attempt to remove the RealID rider!

Then the Democrats say they were against this "under-the-table" budget push.

Really? 100-0.

Where's Kerry's "I'm all for immigration" leadership now? 100-0.

Where's Kos? He's been spewing filibuster stories, but not one major post about the RealID

And the Democrats wonder why they're losing elections. Hint, if you're going to act like a Republican... people might as well just VOTE Republican.

Damn (5, Insightful)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495044)

This is all Lincolns fault!

Re:Damn (2, Interesting)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495123)

Word. Lincoln assraped states' rights like no other President before or since.

Fact: Lincoln's executive order declaring that the Confederate states didn't need readmitted to the Union, because they never seceded, because you can't secede, was completely un-Constitutional. Any individual or group is entitled to exercise their right of self-government and the Confederacy did so. Having never been formally readmitted, the statehood of the Confederate states remains illegitimate. The South is occupied Yankee territory!

10th Amendment (4, Insightful)

Flounder (42112) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495050)

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

A national ID is not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution. Therefore, any authority to issue official IDs falls to the states. Granted, this hasn't stopped the federal government from taking over education, hate speech legislation, search and seizure, etc. And will the Supreme Court rule on the side of the Constitution? They haven't in recent years, why should they now?

Re:10th Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495094)

This may be captured under the interstate commerce clause. Since driver's licenses are frequently used as the only source of positive identification and since such identification is necessary to flight from state to state, it may be constitutional for the federal government to mandate uniform standards in lieu of its own national identification card. State drivers licenses allow users to operate motor vehicles within the state and other state because of reciprocity agreements. But they remain a state document.

Re:10th Amendment (3, Informative)

wowwser (730987) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495118)

Ahh but have you ever used your license to conduct interstate commerce? Like get on a plane to go to a different state?
Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution empowers the United States Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."

Re:10th Amendment (2, Insightful)

Altanar (56809) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495155)

Sure, the Federal government can't force States into adopting it, but just like the minimum drinking age, they can withold Federal money the States are addicted to if they don't want to go along for the ride.

Constitution-buster? (4, Informative)

quax (19371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495053)

There is a provision in the bill that sets the gruesome precedence that it is in the power of Congress to prohibit juridical review. Since the latter is a cornerstone of the American republic this is a very big deal. You can learn more about it here [] .

Re:Constitution-buster? (1)

jdhutchins (559010) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495166)

Just becuase it's a part of the bill doesn't mean it can't get struck down in judicial review. If that part is taken to court, the court will probably say that the "no judicial review" part is unconstitutional and can't be enforced.

Re:Constitution-buster? (1)

kayen_telva (676872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495175)

congress can already prohibit judicial review unless SCOTUS is
specifically granted original jurisdiction.

"under such Regulations as the Congress shall make"

see Article 3 []

I'm glad (5, Insightful)

Albinofrenchy (844079) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495054)

And here is why: This will piss people off. Not just /.ers, but anyone with a mild taste for freedom. And if it pisses enough people off, this hole in democracy will be patched up forever. If a senator tacks on federally paid monuments for his hometown; that is corruption but no one will go up in arms.

But challenge our freedom? Time to stop this crap once and for all. Now, if I'm wrong and the people show themselves so docile they would have thier freedoms raped... God help us all.

Re:I'm glad (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495090)

Sorry to say, and I truthfully mean this in the most polite way possible, it does absolutely no use to complain here.

I suggest that people start writing the wonderful critters that made this bill possible. If you have, that's a great start. However, don't ease up. Write them all, make some pre-canned letters and send them off once a week--then hire some shoddy person to do your taxes next year and find some way to write this off. Joking aside, and I know it wasn't that funny, you'd be surprised how far writing can go--especially when done in masses.

Click your heels together for Jesus! Was:I'm glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495152)

"This will piss people off. Not just /.ers, but anyone with a mild taste for freedom.

All in my opinion:

Oh come now. Anytime there's something the public may be concerned over, say like a mark of the beast card or whatever, all they(tm) need to do is make a movie about the particular issue-of-the-month, mini-series, have a celeb laugh about it or adopt it, or repeat it on TV until the public are sick of hearing about it.

To borrow a quote from the movie They Live [] : "We could be pets, we could be food, but all we really are is livestock."

Besides, do you think most people are really awake to begin with? Plenty of drones worshipping so-and-so celeb, keeping track of the popular people and how they compare to them, playing their little games, etc. no time to think! It reminds me of a quote I read somewhere on a forum: Make people think they're thinking and they'll love you. Make people actually think and they'll hate you... something like that.

Moo! That's the sound of the collective hive mind. All in my opinion.

Interesting Sections... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495060)

(Sec. 1114) Renames the death gratuity, payable to survivors of members of the Armed Forces killed while serving on active duty or inactive duty training, as fallen hero compensation.

It goes without saying that I have issues when I read legal documents for other countries but it's always good for a laugh.

Great, bend over and take it......... (3, Interesting)

compmanio36 (882809) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495064)

Well, there goes the semblance of the liberty to be free of tracking by the government.

Will we have to have our license scanned at every transaction and state border crossing, so the government can know whether we McDonalds or Burger King? How about whether we wear boxers or briefs? How much information do we have to give on these new driver's licenses? Do we have to take another driver's test? Do we have to tell them what religion we are, whether we support the current administration, what political party we are a part of, or whether or not we donated to the presidental re-election fund? Maybe if I haven't donated, I'm just a terrorist and shouldn't be allowed to cross state lines, huh?

When will it end? When will the American people get so sick of being fucked over that we actually stand up and DO something about it?

Re:Great, bend over and take it......... (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495111)

When will it end? When will the American people get so sick of being fucked over that we actually stand up and DO something about it?

When we stop being sedated by SUV's and Plasma TV's.

And we don't have time to noticed we are being fucked over because we are working so many hours to pay off the SUV's and Plasma TV's.

So, I guess never.

The real problem ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495070)

... is this botched legislative process. Guess how large Real ID must have loomed in each Senator's mind in a $82 Gig spending bill that was mostly about other, currently more pressing stuff.

I really don't get it (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495073)

This bill was put forth by the party against "big government" and delivered to those who consider themselves the freest in the world.

Americans have official separation of church and state, and the president tries to intervene in a medical case on a religious basis.

I could go on, but I really don't get it.

Re:I really don't get it (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495160)

The same party that is against "big government" also started the Department of Homeland Defence.

Make the dinosaur dance (4, Interesting)

kafka47 (801886) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495079)

The speed in which this "legislation" has warped through the democratic process is very telling.

The likelihood that the end product, the "RFID licenses" will be ill-thought, ill-conceived and ill-executed has been assured. Hacking and manipulation have just discovered a new end-game. Have fun. This is going to be such a mess.

Watch one of the world's largest bureaucracies fall on its face.


.wtf. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495081)

You cannot imagine the profanities I am restraining right now. Mod this down as offtopic, but the anger that I feel about such dirty politics is surely shared by others.

Hidden DHS Powers (1)

acidkillUSF (523372) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495083)

I read an article [] on Ars earlier that details a hidden power grab by the Department of Homeland Security:

H.R. 418 [the Real ID Act of 2005] would provide additional waiver authority over laws that might impede the expeditious construction of barriers and roads along the border. H.R. 418 would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any and all laws that he determines necessary, in his sole discretion, to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads under IIRIRA 102...

Section 102 of H.R. 418 would amend the current provision to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any law upon determining that a waiver is necessary for the expeditious construction of the border barriers. Additionally, it would prohibit judicial review of a waiver decision or action by the Secretary and bar judicially ordered compensation or injunction or other remedy for damages alleged to result from any such decision or action.

Apparently Article 3, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution states:

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The key here is "...the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction...with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make." seems the Supreme Court can only rule and judge on things the Congress doesnt Exempt from them. This may be only a start to a situation where 'activist judges' are preempted by congressional exclusions and regulations preventing them from making decisions on a number of things Republicans, in particular, dont want Judges ruling on. In addition, the Congress could make a blanket statement, 'thou shalt not rule on gays, abortion, or guns' and be done...who knows what may happen in a republican controled Congress.

Nothing to Hide (1)

songofthephoenix (858004) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495084)

I really do not see what the problem is with this. Does it make a big difference if other states know details about you? I just don't see what the problem is here.
From my understanding if this applies to you, you are an American citizen.. hence an ID that applies to all of America.

calls to arms against Sensenbrenner.... (0)

JimBobJoe (2758) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495088)

I announced on the Politech list the following:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Politech] House approves Real ID Act;one Democrat's
objections [priv]
Date: Fri, 06 May 2005 09:50:32 -0800
From: James Moyer
To: Declan McCullagh


With the approval of the REAL ID Act, I believe it's time to place blame
of it passage and make sure that Congress knows that there are people
who still believe in liberty and care about their privacy.

For this reason, I believe that we (those who care) should begin a
campaign against Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, to make sure
that he loses the September 2006 Congressional Primary.

We must make it clear, to the people of the 5th Wisconsin district, that
Rep. Sensenbrenner, is directly responsible for the creation of the
National ID Card, through his sponsorship and work on the REAL ID Act.

We must make it clear that Rep. Sensenbrenner is putting American's
identities and lives at stake, by fomenting the introduction of RFID
based passports (a result of his "leadership" as chair of the House
Judiciary Committee.)

And finally, we must make it clear to people of faith in his district,
that he is *most* responsible for paving the way toward the Mark of the
Beast, as predicted in the book of Revelations, and that, like the Mark
of the Beast, no American shall be able to "buy or sell" without one of
Jim Sensenbrenner's "REAL IDs." There should be no doubt his work on the
REAL ID Act is entirely unchristian.

By aggressively targeting Jim Sensenbrenner next year, we shall make it
clear to leadership that we are demanding that they take liberty and
privacy needs into account. We can further awake the sleeping giant of
Christians who are concerned about National ID card issues, but haven't
found a medium for voicing their concerns.

Now's the time to begin such a campaign, so that everyone is well aware
of Sensenbrenner's dastardly REAL ID act. By September 2006 every
churchgoer in the Wisconsin 5th shall be aware of it as well.

Anyone who wants to work on this project is more than welcome to get in
touch with me.

James Moyer

Re:calls to arms against Sensenbrenner.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495146)

Sophomoric and shrill.

this is may right? (1)

BobVila (592015) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495095)

As much as I hate to say it, I wish this was april first.

About time (1)

cabjf (710106) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495100)

I know most of you here in slashdot fear big brother government, but I say it's about time. Look at what we have been using to identify ourselves: driver licenses and social security numbers. These are both inadequate systems for checking one's identity. Only those who drive have one, and it is left up to individual states to determine the rules regarding them. Social security id's are meant for just that: social security. If we must have something to show, prove our identity with, it might as well be a national ID card. I do not, however, agree with forcing the states, especially the dmv's, to enforce and handle this without proper funding.

Politics... (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495101)

"An act making Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005, and for other purposes."

When election season comes around and you see those ads of "He voted against helping the victims of the tragic Tsunami" you see why bills that combine "good" laws and "controversial" laws will get passed just so they don't receive flak later on.

Now I'm not saying I agree or disagree with this bill. All I am saying is that I think if it were split up, the vote probably would not have been 100-0.

This is a very cool development.. (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495106)

What makes these 'smart' ID cards so effective is their being computerized. All the info is stored in the black strip.. or chip., I'm not sure what the standard will be. In places like Lebonan, where you can identify a person's political allegience just by looking at their ID.. Or Israel, where ID cards show whether or not you've served in the military (there's a variation of colours..) People owning these new computerized cards won't see those flagrant violations of their privacy, but they'll be there :) Maybe next time you try getting on a plane, or the next time you're pulled over by a cop, or looking for entrance to a government press conference.. You'll can never be sure _why_ you were violated, denied your rights, or singled out .. Very cool.

ummm... time to move? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495113)

ohhhhhhh caaannnaaadaaa!???...

Seriously, something like this just seems (logically) like it would eventually happen. It could be good but it will probably be abused as what always happen.

Amendments to the Bill.. (5, Interesting)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495121)

Some weren't so bad:

"121. S.AMDT.430 to H.R.1268 To prohibit the use of funds by any Federal agency to produce a prepackaged news story without including in such story a clear notification for the audience that the story was prepared or funded by a Federal agency."

Anagram for Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495139)

I'll sign delinquent lab sperm pap

fsck with the system (1)

UlfGabe (846629) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495143)

buy mccdonalds and throw it around the store,

take your ID's and swipe them all over the place at every single possible location. overload the database.

hire some leet haxxorrs to steal the database, and watch it all burn to the ground.

or as a last resort, post the ip adress to the server as a link(im assuming its going to be connected to the internet) on the /. front page , instant flaming server.

and finally, im canadian, and i already will need a PASSPORT to cross over into the 'friendly' southern neighbor i have. (currently i can take a 10 min walk, and throw a stone across the boarder)

i got nothing else.

Constitution-busting Trojan horse? (1)

zealot (14660) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495144)

Check out this [] post at Ars Technica [] .

Basically, there's a clause in there that states allows a certain part of the bill to be exempt from judicial review.

You know.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12495161)

Why is it that some of you are perfectly ok with carrying around a driver's license...but because you're gonna get a driver's license with a federal stamp on it, you get your panties up in a bunch?

Hilarious (2, Informative)

farbles (672915) | more than 9 years ago | (#12495168)

Security is tightening for Americans, and for visitors coming from Canada and Mexico.

Yet oddly enough entry requirements have just been relaxed [] for visitors coming from Saudi Arabia, where 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers came from.

Funny, that.

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