May 14, 2012

Judge Again Rules for Civil Libertarians in Struggle Over TRU-ID

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Judge Paul Innes of Mercer County Superior Court today upheld a temporary restraining order obtained by the ACLU-NJ to suspend TRU-ID, New Jersey's implementation of the federal Real ID Act. This decision means that New Jersey citizens who do not wish to comply with TRU-ID may opt to obtain their licenses using the existing 6-point ID system instead, at least until a more complete hearing for a preliminary injunction scheduled for August 3. The ACLU-NJ expects the State to appeal today's ruling.

During today’s hearing, Judge Innes recognized the TRU-ID implementation as "a wholesale change in the requirement for issuance of a New Jersey driver’s license."

The ACLU-NJ filed its lawsuit against the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission on May 4 because the MVC failed to issue accompanying regulations as required by law, denying the public a chance to comment on the new licensing standards. The MVC first made its news public in early April.

The ACLU-NJ and many other groups have concerns about the national Real ID and New Jersey-based TRU-ID programs based on privacy, costs and personal safety.

ACLU-NJ Executive Director Deborah Jacobs issues the following statement in response to today's ruling:

"Today’s decision reaffirms the fact that New Jersey can't impose a unilateral decision that affects the lives of all residents without first hearing citizens' concerns. Democracy means consent of the governed, not acquiescence to the government."

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