Deborah Davis Tries to Get Arrested


Judging from the press coverage, today's ID check protest in Denver was not quite as impressive as I was imagining. According to the Denver Post, the courthouse rally featuring Deborah Davis attracted "a dozen supporters," some of whom planned to join Davis in boarding a bus bound for the Denver Federal Center. According to the Rocky Mountain News, when Davis refused to show her ID at the gate (there's no mention of supporters), the bus was stopped, and five passengers who were willing to comply were switched to another bus. It sounds like Davis plans to continue this ritual until she gets arrested again, since the government's decision to drop the original charges against her prevented her from mounting a legal challenge to the ID policy.

[Thanks to Ari Armstrong for the links.]

NEXT: Robert Sheckley, RIP

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  1. If she can make it there she can make it anywhere.

  2. I wish her the best of luck.

  3. She gives new meaning to the phrase “can’t get arrested in this town”

  4. I-a wish-a her-a buona fortuna, eh?

  5. She needs to whip out a medical mj cigarette, maybe that will raise her threat level to America hater and she will get her wish to go to jail.

  6. I would guess that the real reason the charges were dropped is that the feds realized that they can not actually arrest someone for refusing to show an ID; they can only refuse to let them enter. The bus operator (Denver Regional Transportation District) probably does not want to have to send a new bus every time Deborah Davis rides, so they might try to refuse to let her ride, or refuse to let anyone ride on this bus route unless they show an ID to the driver.

  7. I hope she’s not bi-polar. That can get you killed.

  8. I would guess that the real reason the charges were dropped is that the feds realized that they can not actually arrest someone for refusing to show an ID

    No, I disagree completely. There’s too much precedent on the side of having to show i.d. No, they just didn’t feel that this was the case for technical reasons. This isn’t over yet.


  9. There’s too much precedent on the side of having to show i.d.

    What precedent? The Hiibel case? That only established that one is required to state one’s name when requested by a cop. In the U.S. we are not even required to have an ID, so how can we be required to show it on demand?

  10. I think it is even possible that a U.S. citizen living in the U.S. would not be able get a government-issued ID. If someone is a citizen, not in the military, and does not work for the federal government, the only federally-issued photo ID generally possible is a passport. The federal government is not required to issue passports to anyone who wants one; one applies to the state department for a passport and the state department issues a passport if and only if it chooses to.

  11. Math Guy,

    I think state IDs (drivers or non-drivers) would fall under the heading of govt-issued ID. And anyone can get one of those.

  12. Math Guy:

    Pretty much everybody has an id. It might not be law that you have one in the US, but it is pretty much required to live in US society.

    Try getting a job without gov’t issue ID. Try getting health care. Try buying alcohol, cigarettes, guns & ammo, etc. without a gov’t issue ID.

    You can pretty much live in the backwoods of Montana without an ID. Wow, such freedom.

  13. This chick has stopped being a freedom fighter and become a pain in the ass.

  14. hope she has a better lawyer than Gilmore…good luck to her.

  15. Driver’s licences are like passports; one can apply for them, but the state decides whether to issue one or not. Each state sets its own standards. Most or all states also offer identification cards that are not driver’s licenses. Again, one can apply for one, but there is no requirement, under federal law, that the states issue them to anyone who asks. I think it is possible, at least theoretically, that someone could be a U.S. citizen, living in the U.S. and not be able to get a photo ID issued by any government. Neither the state nor the federal government is even required to issue IDs.

    There are many people who do not have IDs. John Gilmore is a famous example of someone who has chosen not to get a government-issued ID. Most children do not have them. There are millions of people in the United States who do not have IDs and who can not get them because the government does not recognize their right to be here. I would guess that there are other U.S. citizens who do not have IDs because they do not need them or because the government agencies in charge of issuing IDs will not issue them for one reason or another.

    io1029, there are lots of people who are able to get jobs without government photo ID cards. The ‘informal economy’ is thriving. I have never been asked for photo IDs by my doctor, nor by the hospital I went to for emergency services one time. I have purchased tobacco and booze (lots of booze) without showing a photo ID to anyone. (I do not buy guns & ammo; do I have to turn in my decoder ring?).

    But my point is that the federal government should not require people to have IDs unless the federal government is required to issue those IDs. Currently, the situation is a mess. One is required to have an ID for various things. It is required for getting legal employment, possibly for air travel, and for riding a bus across a federal goverment facility in Denver; but the government is not required to issue IDs.

  16. In which DD turns into Cindy Sheehan.

    Fifteen minutes just ain’t enough !

  17. FWIW,
    I got my IN drivers’ license last week. I was required to show my passport/birth certificate, Social Security card, and proof of residence (utility bill).

  18. Well, there goes my sympathy and support. We’ve gone from “I was just trying to get to work without worrying about having my i.d. with me” to “Look at how brave I am!” Guess I’m just not a big fan of test cases and engineered photo-ops masquerading as arrests.

  19. I wonder what her chances are next year of attracting an IRS audit?

  20. stuff has to start somewhere. why not here?

  21. I hope Deborah continues, if only to some day see a blog post titled “Deb Davis Tree Farm” or something of the like.

  22. So why dose a person now have to carry a ID to ride a bus lets do a ROSA PARKS and boycott the bus in protest on this big brother nonsnesnse

  23. Math Guy – In a lot of states, if you buy booze or tobacco without having to show ID, either you or the clerk is breaking the law. (Yes, it’s a stupid law, and often broken, but it is there.)

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