We’ve all come to expect a certain level of hassle at the airport, including groping, peeking and the confiscation of our shampoo, but the Department of Homeland Security bullies appear poised to up the ante for residents of several states.
The TSA has threatened to stop accepting driver licenses from Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, New Mexico and Washington state this year.
These five states remain non-compliant with the requirements of the REAL ID Act and don’t have pending waiver extensions. It appears increasingly likely the feds will try to make an example of residents in these reticent states to prove once and for all you shouldn’t defy Uncle Sam.
Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 and Pres. G.W. Bush signed it into law. The act essentially mandates a national ID system that states must implement.
Constitutionally, the federal government lacks any authority to create a national ID. But the feds won’t let something like constitutional limitations stop them from doing what they want. Congress simply ignored its delegated powers and implemented national ID standards anyway.
But things didn’t go smoothly after passage of REAL ID. States rebelled for several reasons, including privacy concerns and the fact that Congress didn’t provide any funding for the mandates it expects states to implement. Many states simply chose not to act. Missouri, Maine, Oklahoma and others passed laws expressly prohibiting compliance with the national ID standards.
REAL ID continues to be an abject failure in terms of implementation.
Under the law, all states were supposed to be in compliance by 2009. But the federal government found coercing unwilling states wasn’t as easy as anticipated. Instead of forcing the issue, the feds issued waiver after waiver.