"For those of you who have always dreamed of living in a fascist or tyrannical state where you're required to carry and present a national ID at all times, you've got your wish. Guess what was tacked onto the end of the $82,000,000,000 Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill?
The RealID act has passed the senate 100-0. Anyone who was considering leaving the country "if things get any worse" after the election, this would be your cue.
Under this law everyone in the US is required to have a machine readable national ID with photo and barcode. Your personal history is tied to it in a database. It must include your real physical and permanent adress, no P.O. boxes allowed. So if you're looking to kill some cop who busted you or some judge or kidnap some rich guy's kids, you'll know where to find them. I'm sure private companies will love to find ways to get you to scan them at various places so they can build their own databases with no privacy restrictions at all.
Oh don't worry, things aren't as bad as they seem. They're worse. There's also another interesting little tidbit tagged onto this thing. It's nothing major, just some little law dealing with beefing up border security around San Diego and stuff. What harm could that do?
II. Waiver of Laws to Facilitate Barriers at Border44
Section 102 of the IIRIRA generally provides for construction and strengthening of barriers along U.S. land borders and specifically provides for 14 miles of barriers and roads along the border near San Diego, beginning at the Pacific Ocean and extending eastward. IIRIRA § 102(c) provides for a waiver of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA)45 and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)46 to the extent the Attorney General determines is necessary to ensure expeditious construction of barriers and roads...
H.R. 418 [the Real ID Act of 2005] would provide additional waiver authority over laws that might impede the expeditious construction of barriers and roads along the border. H.R. 418 would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any and all laws that he determines necessary, in his sole discretion, to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads under IIRIRA § 102...
Section 102 of H.R. 418 would amend the current provision to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any law upon determining that a waiver is necessary for the expeditious construction of the border barriers. Additionally, it would prohibit judicial review of a waiver decision or action by the Secretary and bar judicially ordered compensation or injunction or other remedy for damages alleged to result from any such decision or action.
Basically, we now have a law that's immune to judges and gives someone the right to just ignore any other laws. No that's right, the Supreme Court can't even touch this thing, because it's exempt from judicial review. Yes let me hear you cry "But they can't do that, it's unconstitutional!" Let's look at the constitution, Article 3 Section 2:
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
Someone is going to argue that because of this, Congress has the right to make unchallengable laws. Sneaking it through on the back of this minor law will set a precedent that can be used against a challenge later. Of course, if we wanted to get the constitution correctly interpreted on the matter that would require a supreme court ruling, but from now on it seems any laws the majority of congress likes can be exempt from that, locking them in forever.
Not good news huh? Think the Democrats are going to do jack shit? The bill passed 100-0. Not a single opposing vote. Either nobody read it, nobody cared, or they were bought.
Welcome to the new America. Please leave your freedom at the door."
So now, can I PLEASE find a way to get Bush out of office, and preferably, out of this life?!?