Louisiana Becomes 11th State to Reject Federal Real ID Act

July 10, 2008 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The state of Louisiana recently enacted legislation that prohibits the state from complying with the Real ID Act of 2005, federal legislation that mandates to all states that they create a national ID card. The Department of Homeland Security has been trying to gain support for the Act, but has faced growing resistance from the states. Louisiana is the 11th state to pass a law barring compliance with Real ID, and the 21st state to formally express its displeasure with the federal mandate. The legislation was passed by a vote of 72-22 in the Louisiana House, and by a vote of 36-2 in the Senate before Governor Bobby Jindal signed the bill into law.

“The state movement against Real ID has remained resilient and has risen above partisan politics. Republican and Democratic governors alike have signed bills into law against Real ID that had strong bipartisan support in their state houses,” said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Program. “Just recently, Governor Janet Napolitano, Democrat of Arizona, took the bold step of opting her state out of the Real ID nightmare. Now Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican, has taken a similar stand for privacy. He and the Louisiana legislature deserve praise from Americans across the country.”

The Real ID Act of 2005 mandates that all states have compliant identification cards consistent with federal regulations, as well as requiring that all Americans’ private information be held in a database accessible to state and federal officials – the cost and security of which is unknown. The states’ response to the passage of Real ID has been steady. In 2007, 17 states passed either resolutions or statutes against the program, including those that opted out of it altogether, and four additional states have joined that group in 2008.

“The ACLU of Louisiana commends both Governor Jindal and the legislature for standing up to the Bush Administration in a nationwide movement against Real ID,” added Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. “The residents of Louisiana should be proud that our state officials honor our privacy and have chosen to protect it in spite of the demands of the federal government for greater surveillance.”

To learn more about the anti-Real ID movement, go to:

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