Maine overwhelmingly rejected federal requirements for national identification cards on Thursday, marking the first formal state opposition to controversial legislation scheduled to go in effect for Americans next year.
Both chambers of the Maine legislature approved a resolution saying the state flatly “refuses” to force its citizens to use driver’s licenses that comply with digital ID standards, which were established under the 2005 Real ID Act. It asks the U.S. Congress to repeal the law.
The vote represents a political setback for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Republicans in Washington, D.C., which have argued that nationalized ID cards for all Americans would help in the fight against terrorists.
“I have faith that the Democrats in Congress will hear this from many states and will find a way to repeal or amend this in the coming months,” House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat, said in a telephone interview after the vote. “It’s not only a huge federal mandate, but it’s a huge mandate from the federal government asking us to do something we don’t have any interest in doing.”
The Real ID Act says that, starting around May 2008, Americans will need a federally approved ID card–a U.S. passport will also qualify–to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments or take advantage of nearly any government service. States will have to conduct checks of their citizens’ identification papers, and driver’s licenses likely will be reissued to comply with Homeland Security requirements.
In addition, the national ID cards must be “machine-readable,” with details left up to Homeland Security, which hasn’t yet released final regulations. That could end up being a magnetic strip, an enhanced bar code or radio frequency identification (RFID) chips.
The votes in Maine on the resolution were nonpartisan. It was approved by a 34-to-0 vote in the state Senate and by a 137-to-4 vote in the House of Representatives.
Other states are debating similar measures. Bills pending in Georgia, Massachusetts, Montana and Washington state express varying degrees of opposition to the Real ID Act.
Montana’s is one of the strongest. The legislature held a hearing on Wednesday on a bill that says “The state of Montana will not participate in the implementation of the Real ID Act of 2005″ and directs the state motor vehicle department “not to implement the provisions.”
Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Project, said he thinks Maine’s vote will “break the logjam, and other states are going to follow.” (The American Civil Liberties Union has set up an anti-Real ID Web site called Real Nightmare).
Pingree, Maine’s House majority leader, said the Real ID Act would have cost the state $185 million over five years and required every state resident to visit the motor vehicle agency so that several forms of identification–including an original copy of the birth certificate and a Social Security card–would be uploaded into a federal database.
Well well well.
Does this mean that the drivers licenses from that Maine will not be good for travel inside the other areas of Soviet America? If that is the case, the free citizens of Maine will go berserk with rage when they are routinely denied travel ‘rights’ or are perpetually strip searched because they have deviant drivers licenses. This is commonly known as ‘discrimination’.
It is also what we call ‘soft compulsion'; make them need REALID by causing their lives to become impossible without it. Are all the banks in Maine who are going to be forced to require REALID for all transactions going to be under different rules than the rest of Soviet America? Will they then be prevented from making transfers to other banks from customers who have not presented REALID? These are the questions that come to mind. Hell, forget all of that, will they be able to drive cars in other states?
Maine is going to have to become like another country entirely if they are going to separate themselves from the biometric net. Its called secession, and it will be the best thing for them. They will have their international airport, where USVISIT will not exist, and then once again, at least in one place, america will start looking like America. With a capital ‘A’. Most importantly they will have their own foreign relations, ensuring that they have real, long term security at zero cost.
In a properly federated country, stuff like this can happen. After everything, this total nightmare, like I said before, if any country can come back from the brink of total destruction, it is the United States of America. These are the people who went to the moon, who built the internets…there was no place like it on earth.
And I’m not just saying that.
The question is, is this the beginning of the end for the biometric net? Will Maine and the other ‘REAL-AMERICA’ states get away with this?
I sure hope so.