Monday, February 12, 2018

What's in YOUR wallet?

It's gonna be a civil war
Do you remember the civil war?  Sure you do.  It was a battle between the northern and southern states that ran from 1861-1865.  The primary reason the Civil War broke out was because the southern states wanted to secede from the union because, I suspect, the Federal government was trying to ram its ideologies down the southern states throats.  Abraham Lincoln thought differently and by sending troops to prevent succession, the Civil War began.

Fast forward 140 years to the year 2005.  The year after George W. Bush was elected POTUS, Congress passed what is known as The Real ID Act of 2005.  California was, initially, one of the states that refused to bow to the requirements of this Act.  Fact is, there were a number of hold-out states that refused to adopt this federal mandate.

It has recently come to my attention, however, that this is no longer the case and after only two weeks since I (a California resident) got my new Driver's License, I find that I will have to pay another fee/tax to get a "real" ID.  What a crock and so much for Sacramento's bravado.

As found on the Department of Homeland Security's website, the official purpose of this act is to:
[E]stablish minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.
Sounds innocuous, but is it?  Basically, congress was looking to restrict terrorists from accessing federal buildings or otherwise causing havoc in or around airports.  The reality of this act is that it:
  1. Will create America's first national identity card enabling the tracking of individuals thereby propelling us toward a surveillance society (remember what the NSA did under obama's watch?).
  2. Is a another "hidden tax" forcing everyone (not just persons in this country illegally but American citizens, too) to pay higher fees to get a "real" identification card (which begs the question as to what do I have in my wallet, now?).
Since this Act never actually went through the democratic process but was slipped through Congress in May 2005 in a “must-pass” Iraq War/Tsunami relief supplemental bill, most people don't even remember that this Act became a law.

Which leads to today's blog.  See, I got a call today from a guy who had been informed that if he wanted to continue to pursue his lawsuit in federal court, that he would have to obtain a real ID.  

"WHAT THE #@%@#%$(&!@$ IS A REAL ID?" he screamed over the phone.  I didn't know, told him to tone it down, and that I'd help him find the law.

So, I started with Google (yeah, yeah, I started with Google.  Anyone who religiously reads this blog knows I'm not a fan of google.com but when in Rome, do as the Romans do, right?).  Anyway, I began a search for: REAL ID ACT of 2005 and found a great discussion on Wikipedia which noted that I could find the act at Pub. L. 109-13, 119 Stat 302.  

How this reads is Public Law 109-13 (which means the Act was passed by the 109th Congress and could be found on page 13 of the U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News;"USCCAN").  The second citation reads volume 119 of Statutes at Large, page 302 (which can also be found in USCCAN).

While that's all great, what the Guy on the phone wanted was the code under which this Act can be found.  To find this, I turned to Shepard's Acts and Cases by Popular Names, Federal and State.  Looking under the "R's" for Real ID Act of 2005, I found reference to May 11, 2005, P.L. 109-13, Division B, 119 Stat. 302, 8 U.S. Code §1101 nt.

Moving over to the United States Code Annotated (TR), Title 8, I opened to section 1101 and discovered all 31 pages of the code together with all 569 pages of annotations.

I gotta say, this thing is HUGE!  There are THOUSANDS of primary and secondary annotations that deal with discussing this code.  There are also THOUSANDS of cases that have heretofore litigated this code.

What is important to note is that while The Real ID Act of 2005 been on the books since, well, since 2005, it doesn't actually become effective until October 1, 2020.  That's not for another two years!  Can you imagine what the legal landscape of the USA will look like in 2 years and already people are going to battle over this one piece of legislation?  No wonder states are clamoring for succession.  Dang but it's going to be another civil war all in the name of national security!  

Anyway, Guy was satisfied that his local county law Librarian had gone to bat for him and smacked another one over the right field fence for a grand slam.  

If ever you need help finding something that is stuck in your craw, waste not a second and head on over to your local county law library so that we can you can help us help you help us help you and you all have a great rest of the day.