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Idaho Follows Maine in Storm of Opposition to Real ID

Jay Stanley,
Senior Policy Analyst,
ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project
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March 8, 2007

Today Idaho became the second state to reject the Real ID Act. This caps a week of state rebukes to the Department of Homeland Security’s Real ID implementation regulations, which were released on March 1. The regulations failed to answer states’ fundamental objections to the act, namely, the astronomical cost, the massive administrative burdens it will impose on the states and the violation of Americans’ privacy rights. (See our Real ID scorecard to see just how miserably the DHS is addressing states’ concerns.) A timeline of the fast-and-furious developments:

  • March 1: DHS issues regulations, announces intention to extend deadline and acknowledges that Real ID will cost $23 billion.
  • March 5: New anti-Real ID legislation introduced in Arkansas; Washington Senate approves anti-Real ID legislation.
  • March 6: New anti-Real ID legislation introduced in Pennsylvania; following a unanimous vote by the House, Idaho passes anti-Real ID legislation out of Senate committee.
  • March 7: Illinois, South Carolina and Hawaii all pass anti-Real ID legislation out of committee.
  • March 8: Idaho Senate completes legislature’s approval of resolution opting out of Real ID; Arizona Senate votes to opt out of Real ID.

More action is on the way. States’ rejection of Real ID is critical, because the whole point of Real ID is to have a uniform national identity document, and when even a few states reject it, the whole concept falls apart. Stay tuned to www.realnightmare.org for up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Real ID rebellion.

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