To the editor: My response to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s editorial, “Real-ID is real overdue,” is that Real-ID is a real sham.
As Rahm Emanuel said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” In this instance, 9-11 was used as an excuse to foist a national ID card on the citizen-sheep of the U.S. The whole editorial fits together well with the “Constitutionally unschooled” article published the same day. The pro-Real-ID piece is very guilty of Constitutional ignorance.
The “Real-ID is real overdue” piece states, “Without the IDs, Pennsylvanians will eventually not be able to access spaces under federal protection, like U.S. courthouses or airplanes.” Courthouses are protected by guards and metal detectors. The author has apparently not given a second of thought as to what security a plastic card has to offer a courthouse. The author also seems unfamiliar with the First Amendment. Redress of grievances, a right granted in the First Amendment, are often performed in court. So not only is the ID requirement just a useless hoop you are supposed to mindlessly jump through, the punishment the federal government seeks to enforce, that of baring citizens from entry to a federal court, is a violation of the First Amendment protection of your right to seek the righting of wrongs.
Furthermore, forcing the states to adopt a specific ID card scheme is itself a violation of the 10th Amendment, as issuing a national ID card is not a power granted to the federal government in the Constitution.
I was part of the lobbying effort to prevent Real-ID from being adopted in Pennsylvania. When looking over the publications of the technology corporation the states hired, a corporation which lobbied extensively to have their technology required to comply with the law, one could see that “The Real-ID Act” had little to do with security and a lot to do with laying the groundwork for a system to track our spending. If you think that online ads are invasions of your privacy, they will be a dream compared to the nightmare which Real-ID hopes to become. So say goodbye to what remains of the Fourth Amendment’s protections of your privacy as well.
If our nation were “Constitutionally schooled,” rubbish such as a national financial tracking card could never be passed. “The Real-ID Act” has as much to do with “Real-IDs” as “The Patriot Act” has to do with “patriots.” What is “real overdue” is respect for the voices of the true patriots, those who died to secure for us the Bill of Rights — rights that people such as this pro-”Real-ID” author demand be handed over with the weakest of excuses, and laziest consideration.
Pennsylvania should be proud of its efforts to not comply with this unfunded mandate. The only problem with Harrisburg is that they complied at all.