Arizona Cutting Up Real ID?


John McCain and Alice Cooper's home state is considering firing the biggest volley yet against the Real ID Act:

In Arizona, Senate Bill 1152 would prevent the state from taking part in the national standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards.

It passed on an uncontested voice vote Wednesday; a formal vote is scheduled for today.

State Sen. Karen Johnson, the bill's sponsor, said the two-year delay does nothing to dim her opposition.

"I am absolutely against a national ID," said Johnson, R-Mesa. "If we do this, we'll have a nationwide databank that would be a gold mine for ID theft."

Yes, Republicans are taking the lead to reform (or scrap) the law.

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  1. Don’t worry…Arizona and Maine will come around when the Feds start dangling more dollars! Its already happening! Homeland Security is allowing the states to use money budgeted for other things to fund Real ID!

    Let the waffling begin!

  2. “Yes, Republicans are taking the lead to reform (or scrap) the law.”


    You’ve disappointed me.

    You had something going, kid. You really did. I thought you were on your way. I had plans for you. Big plans.

    And you threw it all away. And for what? The so-called respect of a bunch of crazy libertarians who couldn’t elect a godamned dogcatcher in Mayberry? You’re a fool.

    The last check you got from me is the last you’ll ever see.

    You’re dead to me.

  3. Serious question – what’s the main argument against a national ID card?

  4. fish is right,and they will also use a stick:
    troopers in other states will find “probable
    cause” to stop Arizona-tagged vehicles, and will drag the drivers down to the station house for a few hours “until we can verify certain info about your identity that doesn’t show on your drivers license.”

  5. OTOH, once you “lose” funding by bucking one mandate, it’ll be a small step to check what other mandates you can dump because the funding is already gone.

    Be interesting to see how much state money you can save by passing up federal funding. Might be a net gain.

    Serious question – what’s the main argument against a national ID card?

    “Your papers, please.” Not that this argument carries much weight with someone who trusts government to always be benevolent.

    Plus, as noted in the entry, the “all your eggs in one basket” approach to ID theft.

  6. One could argue that the SSA and the I guess de facto establishment of the SSN as a means of universal identification inadvertantly led to the “epidemic”* of ID theft we are experiencing today.

    *I can’t accurately gauge how bad it is.

  7. Creech – why would troopers in other states care, though? I mean, there’s no standard now, and we don’t see troopers (excessively) shaking down people from other states. And no harm, no foul – it’s not like they could even write a ticket and earn some money off it.

  8. Serious question – what’s the main argument against a national ID card?

    One central and “infallible” authority on identity. The best counterexample here is the woman that the Belgian government insisted was dead, despite her presence in their office yelling at them.

  9. Yes, Republicans are taking the lead to reform (or scrap) the law.

    Soros beat me to it, but I almost sense it pained you to type that, David.

    And I’m as shocked as you are that it’s the R’s leading the charge against this horrible idea (at least in AZ).

    Sort of a side note, but is anyone noticing how states are starting to assert their authority regarding their right to not be burdened by BS federal laws? I think we’re up to 23 states with Medical Marijuana laws or bills, and now another state rebelling against Real ID.

    Just maybe the states will be the ones to decide to repeal the 17th Amendment next.

  10. Just in case the states have forgotten how to work this thing:

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

    Make it so!

  11. “Your papers, please.” Not that this argument carries much weight with someone who trusts government to always be benevolent.

    I once proposed that any official asking for papers should be required by law to ask for said papers while affecting a German accent. Just try it around your ‘pro nat’l id’ friends. Say “papers please” with your midwestern accent, then say it again with your best Regimental German accent…takes on a whole new meaning…

  12. Dan T.,

    Arguments against REAL ID from a security perspective:

    REAL ID: Costs and Benefits

    “The first problem is the card itself. No matter how unforgeable we make it, it will be forged. We can raise the price of forgery, but we can’t make it impossible. Real IDs will be forged.”

    Problem 1.

    “But the main problem with any strong identification system is that it requires the existence of a database…The security risks of this database are enormous. It would be a kludge of existing databases that are incompatible, full of erroneous data, and unreliable. Computer scientists don’t know how to keep a database of this magnitude secure, whether from outside hackers or the thousands of insiders authorized to access it.”

    Putting aside the logistical problems:

    “A reliance on ID cards is based on a dangerous security myth, that if only we knew who everyone was, we could pick the bad guys out of the crowd.”

    “In an ideal world, what we would want is some kind of ID that denoted intention. We’d want all terrorists to carry a card that said “evildoer” and everyone else to carry a card that said “honest person who won’t try to hijack or blow up anything.” Then security would be easy. We could just look at people’s IDs, and, if they were evildoers, we wouldn’t let them on the airplane or into the building.

    This is, of course, ridiculous; so we rely on identity as a substitute. In theory, if we know who you are, and if we have enough information about you, we can somehow predict whether you’re likely to be an evildoer. But that’s almost as ridiculous.

    Even worse, as soon as you divide people into two categories — ?more trusted and less trusted people — ?you create a third, and very dangerous, category: untrustworthy people whom we have no reason to mistrust”

    Timothy McVeigh anyone?

    “There’s another, even more dangerous, failure mode for these systems: honest people who fit the evildoer profile.”

    No-fly list anyone?

    “Enough of terrorism; what about more mundane concerns like identity theft? Perversely, a hard-to-forge ID card can actually increase the risk of identity theft. A single ubiquitous ID card will be trusted more and used in more applications. Therefore, someone who does manage to forge one — ?or get one issued in someone else’s name — ?can commit much more fraud with it.”

    See above.

    In short it’s a system that:
    – won’t provide much by way of security
    – exposes us to theft, fraud, and abuse
    – actually can make us less safe.

  13. “””Serious question – what’s the main argument against a national ID card?”””

    Main argument, I don’t know. But my argument is that driving is a state privilage, therefore it’s a states rights issue and the feds should butt out.

    Also, It should be noted that the feds are claiming they are not forcing the states to abide, but forget about flying on a plane. It’s blackmail, much like raise your drinking age or I’ll withold your highway funds!!!

    I think the feds should stop blackmailing states into accepting great federal power.

  14. Serious question – what’s the main argument against a national ID card?

    First, I think, we need to hear what the main arguments FOR a national ID card are.

    The burden of proof rests on the proponent of state action.

  15. There are already national databases. Ever hear of a credit rating?

  16. I think the feds should stop blackmailing states into accepting great federal power.

    Yep. Like I said above, there’s an answer. States just have to be willing to exercise their right to reorganize Congress the way the founding fathers intended.

    We can only thank the original “progressive movement” for the state of affairs we have now in this country.

  17. Oh Arizona, make me proud of you again!

    My main argument against the ID is that they’ll have to shoot me before I carry one. Hmmm, maybe I should rephrase that…

  18. Although there are national databases, they are privately owned, there are three of them, and you don’t need one to get into a Federal courthouse, fly or take a train.
    Also, they can be argued with. You can’t argue with Homeland Security. I tried, once, to get myself off a ‘selectee’ list (not quite ‘no-fly’, but a milder version of it). I did get off, but Homeland Security claimed I had never been on the list. But three different airlines printed SSSS on my boarding cards (which I couldn’t print out ahead of time). The problem just went away, after a while, for no good reason I could find.
    That’s another argument against national identity cards (or standards that connect them).

  19. A database of credit history pales to the database the government is looking to use.
    See here

    As far as expansion of federalism read this article that says.

    “But in an unusual move, federal prosecutors took over the arson case from state authorities on grounds that San Francisco’s police department receives funding from Washington.” see the full article here

    It’s ok for the feds to investigate state law because they give the police departments money?

    I’m guessing, in about 50 years, maybe less, it will be valid to agrue for the dismantling of state governments because the feds do so much and there is no need to fund a “secondary”

  20. So I’m thinkin……..we get the national ID cards and everyone is trackable. Then maybe we can write some laws about people from other countries coming to america. We could call them immigration laws. With the ID cards and the laws we could do something about border security risks.
    But how can we be sure the govt. would enforce those laws? hmmmm

    i am stumped on this one

  21. Yes, Republicans are taking the lead to reform (or scrap) the law.

    Apparently they haven’t lost the Goldwater spirit. Nice to see that there are some non-crazy (or, at least, my kind of crazy) Republicans left in the country. The defeat of the recent anti-gay initiative was also refreshing. (On the other hand, Joe Arpaio is still stinking up the state.)

  22. sweeeeet

    Serious question – what’s the main argument against a national ID card?

    I have a right to exist without permission from any state. They are stupid, violent, sub-human thugs. Washington D.C. is a city of parasites that take our money and spend it on weapons, poison, and more parasites. All of the problems that they complain about are caused by them in the first place.

    They will only use this as a tool to control and stifle peaceful, law-abiding citizens.

    Oh, yes, and before tell me what you heard them say…


  23. Washington D.C. is a city of parasites that take our money

    Except of course people working for Reason, Cato, and some other groups. Still, I think it would be a great idea for the states to write up an amendment that would demolish all government buildings in D.C. using Emminent Domain. That would be rich.

  24. Got dam it tros, I’m disappointed. Two firey posts and you didn’t use the word retard one time.

  25. I don’t particularly care which side of this issue wins out at the moment, because I haven’t heard very good arguments for either side.

    As far as the “pro” side goes, I’ve not heard what good will come of a national ID card that can’t be accomplished with state ID’s. How hard is it to create a computer program capable of reading all states’ databases? Assuming the worst-case scenario, say there are 50 different database programs running on 50 different operating systems. Federal law enforcement can’t have a server that sends a name out to 50 different computers at FBI headquarters and searches the databases? Besides, this seems like one of those situations where a child is murdered and some politician decides we need more laws against murdering children, as if it were allowed before. Basically, they need to answer this question: What crime occurs because of the state ID system that would not occur under a national ID system? Isn’t this just an extension of the thinking that made us federalize airport security after 9/11, even though privately run security had absolutely nothing to do with the problem?

    The anti-ID people don’t have much more going for them. The argument that “show me your papers” is something we should be worried about rings hollow to me, because anyone inclined and authorized to demand your ID can already do that now. If a cop wants to pull me over and demand my “papers”, he could do that with the ones we’ve always had. If you truly believe that a national ID card is an indicator of some intolerable police state, then what you are really arguing over is which brand of shackles you should wear. A lot of this seems to be argument by proxy anyway. Tros’ post is a perfect example. He’s not arguing against the card, he’s voicing his dislike of government in general. “They take our money and spend it on weapons and poison” is getting a bit off-topic, no? Not to say he’s totally wrong about that, but if you really believe this is a government plot to round us all up and control us under some sort of Stalinist state, do you honestly think the lack of a national ID card is stopping them?

    All in all, I’d have to defer to RC Dean’s statement that the burden of proof is on those in favor of creating the card. If you want to create a new expensive red-tape generator you, better have a good reason. But if the government wanted to track me down and send me off to Guantanamo, they could have checked the phone book years ago.

  26. Thanks for the responses. Some of them make sense.

  27. One thing to add.

    I am opposed to the National ID card because it costs money.

    Let me explain;

    Remember a few years back when it came out that the National Park Service was painting rocks to make them appear more weathered? The bureaucrats behind that idea were mocked, mainly because everyone understands that painting rocks sitting in a park is a waste of time and money, with little or no benefit.

    I feel the same way about the National ID system, or any ID system in general. Yes, there are a few minor advantages to forcing everyone to carry a picture ID with their name and various details about them. For example, such an ID might improve emergency care since it facilitates informing EMT’s and doctors about pre-existing conditions, medications in the system etc.

    However, when one factors in the huge cost of the system, these minor benefits, which are currently achievable anyway (there’s nothing preventing people from wearing a Medicalert bracelet for example), Real ID, at best, is reduced to an exercise in painting rocks.

  28. The anti-ID people don’t have much more going for them.

    Dave, did you read Zevatron’s post from 6:04pm, or the article he links to by Bruce Schneider? Before you completely discount the arguments, you might want to read them, because it’s much more detailed than “show me your papers”

  29. Pardon me for being selfish, but if I can’t board an airplane, I can’t work, at least not from Arizona. What’s the solution for those of us who must climb in the cockpit or simply fly for business every week?

  30. Pardon me for being selfish, but if I can’t board an airplane, I can’t work, at least not from Arizona. What’s the solution for those of us who must climb in the cockpit or simply fly for business every week?

    My wife is writing a story about this for the local weekly newspaper she works for. (After I mentioned a Reason article.) The thrust is that it presently takes several days to several weeks to get a birth certificate that’s sufficiently state certified for the process. When the rush hits, who knows? So start now for the May 11, 2008 deadline.

    One of the things she ran across is that current policy will “allow” you to use a passport to board a commercial flight if your state ID isn’t up to the Federal standard.

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