Friday, January 11, 2008

Chertoff suggests thousands will get secondary screening during the first steps of REALID

We have heard that under REALID, everyone will require a REALID to fly. However, at least during the early steps, it appears that fliers without a REALID may all be subject to a secondary screening. That will include lots of people from states who haven't adhered to the new rules. Obviously, this is not actually practical, but it makes an interesting threat. From the AP article:

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who was unveiling final details of the REAL ID Act's rules today, said that if states want their licenses to remain valid for air travel after May 2008, those states must seek a waiver indicating they want more time to comply with the legislation.

Chertoff, as he revealed final details of the REAL ID Act, said that in instances where a particular state doesn't seek a waiver, its residents will have to use a passport or a newly created federal passport card if they want to avoid a vigorous secondary screening at airport security.
The new revelations bring up lots of interesting legal and constitutional issues. Suddenly, people from some states will be treated as second class citizens (and denied the right to travel?) because the federal enforcement refuses to recognize the legal documents of the state. More startlingly, people under 50 will be treated differently than those over 50. That's right, initially those over 50 won't need a real ID, but those under 50 will. I doubt that discrimination by state and by age in this manner will hold up in court, and I look forward to a quick demise of real ID by lawsuit.

Suddenly, moving about in this country seems a whole lot more scary.

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