Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Supreme Court and being American without IDs: against the tide?

By: Kawnipi,

Another ID case is at the Supreme Court. Today they are hearing
arguments against a law in Indiana requiring ID to vote. People that
don't have ID can vote, but have to travel to the county seat to sign an
affidavit within ten days. Early indications suggest that the supreme
court will side with the state and allow the stringent ID requirement.
I have seen no discussion for this case about government imposing a
requirement to carry ID, a requirement which otherwise does not exist,
but perhaps it is becfause voting is so widely recognized as a
privilege, and not a right.

Like several other cases surrounding ID, if decided in favor of the
state, this case will contribute to the general movement towards
requiring ID for survival and participation in American life.
Currently, many regulations and customs de facto require showing ID to
the federal government to move about, either to the TSA for flight or to
Amtrak for trains, or, for example, to guards in federal buildings and
court houses, or to local police upon request. As discussed in this
blog, most fliers can usually fly without ID if they are willing to
subject themselves to a more intensive screening. This provision of the
secret law was revealed by the Supreme Court itself; however because the
law is secret, this blog documents how it is subject to the whims of the
executive branch.

We want a guarantee of "life and liberty" without meddling from the
government, but the bounds of liberty are always relative in society. If
the ways of our society are moving towards requiring each person to
carry a little plastic card, no matter if the law requires it or not,
then as much as we may abhor it, to fight seems an uphill battle. In
fighting it, we lose some of our own enjoyment of life, and
inconvenience those who don't hope for the same. Is this fight worth it?
If this case goes to the state, perhaps we will all rethink how much
time, energy and inconvenience we are willing to expend to stick up for
our liberty, and for the rule of law.

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