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Real-ID Passes U.S. Senate 100-0 1556

jeffkjo1 writes "The U.S. Senate has passed the $82 billion Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill (approved by the House last week), which includes the Real ID act driver's license reform (previously reported here.) The National Governors Association has indicated at the possibility of a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Real ID provisions, which would create national driver's license standards, and a federal database of information from all 50 states."
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Real-ID Passes U.S. Senate 100-0

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  • Constitution-buster? (Score:5, Informative)

    by quax ( 19371 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:35PM (#12495053)
    There is a provision in the bill that sets the gruesome precedence that it is in the power of Congress to prohibit juridical review. Since the latter is a cornerstone of the American republic this is a very big deal. You can learn more about it here [].
  • Re:10th Amendment (Score:3, Informative)

    by wowwser ( 730987 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:42PM (#12495118)
    Ahh but have you ever used your license to conduct interstate commerce? Like get on a plane to go to a different state?
    Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution empowers the United States Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:43PM (#12495127)
    No one was forced to do anything. If they are forced to, then what are they doing there? If they don't have the freedom to make decisions, then why bother? The fact is they ARE free to make decisions and they could have voted no if they wanted to. Next time either of my senators are up for re-election, I'm voting no on them, because I have just as much choice as they do.
  • Re:Fix the Game (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cainam ( 10838 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:44PM (#12495129) Homepage
    You should join [] in their attempt to pass the "Read the Bills Act of 2005" []. The Act would make it law for all bills to actually be read by each legislator, which could cut down considerably on unrelated riders. In any event, it has to be a good thing for lawmakers to have read the laws they're voting on!
  • Hilarious (Score:2, Informative)

    by farbles ( 672915 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:48PM (#12495168)
    Security is tightening for Americans, and for visitors coming from Canada and Mexico.

    Yet oddly enough entry requirements have just been relaxed [] for visitors coming from Saudi Arabia, where 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers came from.

    Funny, that.

  • by steve_lake2005 ( 883147 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:56PM (#12495240)
    5-10-05: Following Congressional passage of the REAL ID Act of 2005, Congressman Dreier of California leads the fight for H.R. 98, the "REAL Social Security Card Act of 2005" (American Politics Today #17) 551212.html []
  • Re:Fix the Game (Score:2, Informative)

    by Blind Joe Death ( 780673 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:05PM (#12495321)
    Nope, the line item veto has been declared unconstitutional in the United States. In 1996, Congress passed a law legalizing the line-item veto, and it came into effect on January 1, 1997. But in June of 1998, the Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated separation of powers. It would take a constitutional ammendment to legalize the line-item veto.
  • by jkakari ( 546230 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:05PM (#12495323)

    Well, if the states roll over and issue these things, just toss your new card in the microwave for a few seconds. My guess is the RFID tag won't hold up for long.

    "What's that you say, Officer? My card doesn't scan? Well, you don't say. Isn't that funny?"

    Doesn't help with the inevitable abuses that aggragation of data will cause, but at least nobody can scan your driver's license from 20 feet away without your consent.

    Keeping the ID inside something like a anti-static bag may work as well, which is what they give you with the EZ-Pass/Fastlane toll tags if you want to inhibit scanning without permanently frying your card.

  • Re:Fix the Game (Score:3, Informative)

    by FleaPlus ( 6935 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:05PM (#12495326) Journal
    My understanding is that the President has the power to line item veto

    Nope. That said, I'd be very much in favor of an amendment to allow for one. []

    The President of the United States was briefly granted this power in the Line Item Veto Act of 1996. It was used once before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan declared it unconstitutional on February 12, 1998. This ruling was subsequently affirmed on June 25, 1998 by a 6-3 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case Clinton v. City of New York.
  • by damiam ( 409504 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:06PM (#12495332)
    It was Senator Jim Jeffords [], in 2001. He didn't switch specifically to keep the Republicans from having a majority (although that was one effect); he just decided that he personally could no longer agree with the direction of the Republican party. He's still in office, and quite popular in Vermont, although he's decided not to run again in 2006.
  • by BananaJr6000 ( 564475 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:07PM (#12495344)
    You pay on both ends. Even if you buy your ticket locally. -- toasted
  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:08PM (#12495346)
    "voted against the war before he voted against it">To be fair, the republicans didn't coin that line.
  • Re:Fix the Game (Score:5, Informative)

    by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:18PM (#12495431) Homepage Journal
    States frequently have these kind of provisions in their constitutions, barring provisions that have nothing to do with one another. In California, we recently had an initiative on the ballot that was split into two parts (A and B) because it had already been numbered when it was decided that it could not go forth as one item.

    Federal law has no such requirements, and I imagine it's a rare Slashdotter who has not had a favorite cause aided by something added to an unrelated bill. (Whether they agree with the method or not is another story.)
  • by Doctor_Jest ( 688315 ) * on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:24PM (#12495480)
    If you live in Texas, there already IS a black strip on your driver's license... :)

    And you have to submit a fingerprint to the DMV to get your license..

    I'm just saying... Now others can know the fun of having all sorts of private info on the only card State Troopers will accept to identify you as you. :)
  • Re:10th Amendment (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrbrown1602 ( 536940 ) <mrbrown@mrbrow n . net> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:26PM (#12495491) Journal
    While I fully agree with you, and I don't support the Real ID issue, the issue could be argued as one of interstate commerce (transportation), which the federal government does have control over.
  • Re:10th Amendment (Score:2, Informative)

    by jonny4001 ( 144859 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:32PM (#12495538)
    Wrong. The federal government almost certainly has the power to issue a national ID under the commerce clause. However, it looks like this bill is unconstitutional because Congress may not "commandeer" state legislatures and executives into implementing its regulatory schemes. See the case New York v. United States.

    BUT Congress has two alternatives: it can either issue its own national ID card (but of course state agencies could completely ignore it), or it can give states money to implement the system (which the states can of course refuse).
  • by Doctor_Jest ( 688315 ) * on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:36PM (#12495566)
    The Democrats could've stopped the DMCA. But those "Democrats" including the one in the executive branch at the time, didn't. Orrin Hatch's baby got tacit approval with NO debate from the Democrats either. They're not spineless, in the sense that they didn't hold to their party's ideals... they're spineless for the same reason Republicans are spineless. MONEY talks.. and it's the only thing they listen to anymore.

    I like neither party, and quite frankly, it's a ONE party system these days in national elections. There ARE no "Republikans" or "Demokrats".

    Just slimy on-the-take politicians who nurse at the teat of special interests. No one should be surprised by this... we've been voting them into office for decades.

    that's what happens when you send lawyers to do your work for you... they end up screwing YOU in the end anyway.

    Another Libertarian Vote in 2008. :)
  • by ostermei ( 832410 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:38PM (#12495582) Homepage
    It seems to me that in everyone's rushing to bash the RealID portion of this, the real threat has been entirely overlooked. Before I go on, I'm going to point out that I could very possibly be ranting about nothing at all... Let me explain. When viewing the text for this particular bill, there are 5 different versions presented (see here []), and no dates are attached to any of them. Now, I'm hoping the last in the list ("Public Print") is the finalized version, but I can't tell for sure. If that's the case, then someone please confirm it for me, and everyone disregard the following:

    The whole standardized national ID card is nasty, I agree. It's not the federal government's place to tell the individual states how to handle their drivers' licensing schemes, it's true. But as has been pointed out already, the if the authorities want the information in question, they're gonna get it one way or the other... If nothing else, this'll make it easier for them, which means less time spent on it, which could conceivably mean less taxpayer money spent on digging up the information. Anyway, that's not the point. The worst part about this bill is the fact that it allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any law he/she wishes with absolutely no judicial review possible. This was discussed in comments a while back here on /. when it was brought up in H.R. 418 [], which was rolled into this current bill. I quote from the bill:
    `(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.

    `(2) NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court, administrative agency, or other entity shall have jurisdiction--
    `(A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or

    `(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.'.
    Or, to illustrate better, I'll quote Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon:
    "If this provision, the waiver of all laws necessary for quote improvements of barriers at the border was to become law, the Secretary of Homeland Security could give a contract to his political cronies that had no safety standards, using 12-year-old illegal immigrants to do the labor, run it through the site of a Native American burial ground, kill bald eagles in the process, and pollute the drinking water of neighboring communities. And under the provisions of this act, no member of Congress, no citizen could do anything about it because you waive all judicial review."
    This is the reason we should be up in arms. This is the dangerous part, and I've seen precious little mention of it.

    In a couple of the 5 versions of this bill (H.R.1268) that are up on Thomas, that section is struck out. I believe that the most recent version is one that has it struck out, but not seeing any dates on the 5 different versions, I can't be certain. Am I correct in assuming that "Public Print," the last one in the list, is the finalized version? If not, then welcome to the police state, folks. If so... well... I'm a tool who just spent entirely too much time typing all this up for nothin' ;)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:04AM (#12495743)
    Actually, what it really says is this:


    Section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1103 note) is amended to read as follows:

    `(c) Waiver-

    `(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.

    `(2) NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court, administrative agency, or other entity shall have jurisdiction--

    `(A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or

    `(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.'.

    And, if you look in the public text version, you will see that this section has been "struck-out". ~c109mTXzzT []

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:14AM (#12495802) Homepage Journal
    The Senate represents the State, not the people (the latter is represented by the House of Representatives). No surprise that the State is 100% behind this grab at State power and omniscience.
  • Disband the union. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Baldrson ( 78598 ) * on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:20AM (#12495830) Homepage Journal
    There is no constitutional requirement that the people of the US be subjected to international human traffic. There _is_ a constitutional requirement that the people of the US be free from the sort of subjugation implied by a national security state that views residents of the US with so much suspicion that they must prove their citizenship.
  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <> on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:32AM (#12495894)
    That'd be relevant if the Majority leader, Bill Frist, didn't filibuster a Clinton nominee.
  • by Bulldozer2003 ( 824009 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:39AM (#12495932)
    Viewing this link [] indicates that debate regarding this part of the bill was brought up before the Senate, but it was voted that the debate be stopped.
    Text from site:
    To express the sense of the Senate that Congress should not delay enactment of critical appropriations necessary to ensure the well-being of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces fighting in Iraq and elsewhere around the world, by attempting to conduct a debate about immigration reform while the supplemental appropriations bill is pending on the floor of the United States Senate.
  • by Entropy ( 6967 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:08AM (#12496067)
    ... but every state has a different design, and most have very minimal security features.

    I know because I see at least a dozen out-of-state drivers licenses a month. Many of them, except for being printed on plastic, look like something I could whip up in half an hour with the GIMP and a decent inkjet printer. How do I know if it's the real deal? The truth is that I don't.

    I work as a clerk in a college town. I therefore see out of state ids at the rate of sometimes twelve times per hour. (Actually, much higher some nights.)

    I have to wonder which state ID's you think look this bad, since most states do have very nice designs now - by nice, I mean far more secure than they used to be. Off the top of my head, Rhode Island, Alaska, and New Jersey each have licenses which are unexpired of their old "laminated" types, which DO look pretty sad. But most states have all sorts of security features on them.

    Most states now have holograms, dual photos, various means of authentication via what numbers go where. You should try your "half hour with GIMP and an inkjet printer" ids at some college town bars - and THEN see how well you do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:22AM (#12496146)
    ID is often required for US airports now. It is often under the false pretense of federal obligation but actually only a matter of company policy adopted by several companies to provide false sense of security and offset complaints about waiting times by adding this at best minimal addition that can excuse extensive delays and put off consumer objections thereby eliminating that potential for reduction in business.
  • by yincrash ( 854885 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:34AM (#12496195)
    here is the a link [] to the appropriate part of the Real-ID part of the bill that was passed that basically enforces a national ID.
  • by BarefootClown ( 267581 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @02:03AM (#12496328) Homepage
    ...but doesn't this [] say the amendment was withdrawn? (If the link fails to work, look up HR 1268, then Senate Amendment 429, on [].)
  • by NoData ( 9132 ) <_NoData_@yah[ ]com ['oo.' in gap]> on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @02:07AM (#12496339)
    How the commentary significantly different from the commentary here, other than in the politics it favors?

    Well, I'll tell ya: The parent post you refer to made a reasonable and truthful point that Democrats did not originiate, nor do they have a monopoly on, blocking judicial nominees. This is true. The "troll" response post made the outlandish and ignorant claim that Democrats "sure as heck have coined the idea of fillibustering nominations to avoid a vote." That's just a falsehood. The Republicans fillibustered nominations under Clinton, and earlier Democrat presidents, the same as the Dems are doing now. This is just another weapon in the Senate arsenal, and it only peeves those who are on the receiving end. It's a trade off for having the most "deliberative body in the free world" whose mission, as Madison envisioned it, was to guard the interests of the minority from being overrun by pure popularity. A hedge against the more overtly popular House.
  • by ASH - ZX99 ( 883182 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @02:17AM (#12496384)
    The bill also includes an extra 592 Million Dollars for a new US embassy in Baghdad. Doesn't that kind of sound like overkill?
  • by millennial ( 830897 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @02:29AM (#12496438) Journal
    This is typical of a lot of Bush administration policy. Take a look at No Child Left Behind:
    1. creates more government - imposes irrational nationwide standards on all states
    2. unfunded - schools can go bankrupt if they can't afford to make the improvements they apparently need
    3. states aren't required to comply - or at least, that's what Mr. Bush says, since he thinks states should be able to "determine their own destiny" in regards to schools
    4. provides few, if any, clear benefits - schools are entirely blamed for poor performance? students can't possibly be responsible? students are forcibly registered on military recruiters' contact lists unless their parents explicitly ask for them not to be?

    The Republican desire for increased regulation (think USA PATRIOT Act, REALID Act) without funding (e.g. not including the war in the 2004-2005 budget? WTF?) is just further proof that the two mainstream parties are slowly, but surely, fusing into one.
  • by Absolut187 ( 816431 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @03:13AM (#12496580) Homepage

    Drivers License Security is pitiful. []

    Illegal immigration costs California taxpayers $1,200 per person, per year. link []

    The cost is much higher if you compete with illegals in your line of work.
    I have family working in construction, and the illegals are willing to work for less than minimum wage, without breaks, and don't care about exposure to harmful chemicals.

    Blue-collar U.S. citizens are being forced to subsidize this illegal competition. Our taxes are spent on schooling, welfare, health care, and even "day-labor" shelters for illegal aliens.

    Us nerdy slashdot types probably don't compete much with illegal aliens - yet.
    I can hear the little rich kids saying "Well, you should go to college if you don't want to have to compete with illegal aliens."
    Real easy to say when mommy and daddy paid your tuition.

    The RealID act is a step in the right direction: toward enforcement of our immigration laws.
    However, the government does need to be watched, and kept in check.

  • Re:Where is Real ID? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Peyna ( 14792 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @03:15AM (#12496587) Homepage

    Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
    Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
  • Isaac Asimov (Score:2, Informative)

    by Wizdumb ( 846957 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @03:22AM (#12496620)

    ...wrote in his Foundation's edge: "The advance of civilization is nothing but an exercise in the limiting of privacy"

    Another Moore's law?
  • by jfern ( 115937 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @05:14AM (#12496985)
    That's why sadly even Boxer and Feingold voted for it. In the House it had a fairly partisan vote, with only 8 Republicans voting no, and 42 Democrats voting yes. The roll call is here [].
  • Re:Actually... (Score:4, Informative)

    by kf6auf ( 719514 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @06:32AM (#12497167)

    So the Supreme Court could hear the case if a State challenges it?
    Yeah, they could hear it but the first thing they would need to decide would be if they State had a right to challenge it. The state would need to demonstate harm or that it was entitled to represent the injured parties (and keep in mind that no one else being able to challenge it isn't a good enough reason). In addition you could probably sue the Secretary of Homeland Security (as a public Minister) and THAT is more likely to happen.

    In a different vein, if there are no courts to appeal from (inferior courts), would the Supreme Court have original Jurisdiction?
    You would think so because that would make sense, but that list there is seen to be complete with respect to original Jurisdiction so nothing can be added to it.

  • by nyekulturniy ( 413420 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @07:02AM (#12497289)
    The folks on the Rapture Ready bulletin board [[http:\\]] are also very aware of the issue, and have many of the same concerns. Many of the users don't want a central government ID registry, because it is a precursor for a universal system that could be used to enforce the Mark of the Beast. The other side of this is the introduction of subdermal RFID chips.

    For those of you who do not know exactly what this means, in the Book of Revelations, during the Tribulation, the Antichrist's system will impose a compulsory registration and sign of loyalty to the Antichrist, signified by a distinguishing mark or tattoo. Those who do not have the mark cannot buy or sell. However, those who do choose the mark will be alienated from God forever; it is the ultimate act of defiance to God in a period when the choices are stark.

    Now, the board members don't assume that the national ID system is the Mark; what they are concerned about is that they don't want the system in place, ready to run, ready to deceive millions into eternal damnation.

    Don't assume RR members are dumb; I've seen many well-thought-out posts on Rapture Ready, as well as a few loonies. They are mostly Christian (with a few atheists/agnostics who engage in intelligent debate).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @07:12AM (#12497332)
    Pennsylvania can't comply, because among other things, they offer a 'religious exemption' to the Amish and others to not have a photo on their ID. Real ID requires a photo. If PA gives just one Amish person a non-photo ID, the feds are required to refuse ALL Pennsylvania IDs. And if they don't give these people IDs, then either they will face lawsuits or they will have to stop requiring IDs. Of course if they do that, then criminals not having ID will just claim the 'religious exemption'.

    What a mess.
  • by Jim_Callahan ( 831353 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @07:26AM (#12497380)
    I doubt the bill will be interpreted in this manner if it comes to court. My impression of the intent of the wording was that it was to prevent state laws from screwing up the construction of barriers to prevent illegal immigration (and pretty much only that). If a rape or murder took place and the dfendant claimed protection of this law, I'm pretty sure a judge would be more likely to take it as a guilty plea than accept it as a valid defense.
  • by jwthompson2 ( 749521 ) <james&plainprograms,com> on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @09:05AM (#12497851) Homepage

    In regards to point one: republicans no longer stand for smaller government, and that is woefully become apparent. The rise of neoconservatism [] has destroyed this basic tenet of the GOP. Because of this I have begun urging my like minded paleoconservative [] and constitutionalist [] friends to jump ship for the Constitution Party [], but that is a difficult jump due to all the 'waisting your vote' crap that people throw around about 3rd parties. Also, the Constitution Party's decidedly Christian stance on morality is troubling to many Secularists and non-Christians even though they do not advocate the dictation of morality at a national level but merely support states in deciding what is abhorrent behavior in the social context.

    It's too bad the republicans no longer stand for smaller government, truly the gap between the two parties is shrinking and will soon be gone.

  • by jamie ( 78724 ) <> on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @09:11AM (#12497886) Journal
    The Real ID amendment got left in. But other amendments, though unanimously agreed-on by Congress, were removed:


    Last month, both the House and Senate unanimously passed amendments to the war-time supplemental bill that called on the Bush administration to ratchet up its diplomatic efforts to help end the crisis in Darfur. Yet today, on Holocaust Remembrance Day [], the House is expected to pass the supplemental bill, and surprise, surprise, those Darfur provisions won't be included. What happened? After pressure from the White House [] (including a letter from administration officials [] to House Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis), the Darfur Accountability provisions were stripped from the bill.

  • Very true (Score:5, Informative)

    by paranode ( 671698 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @09:13AM (#12497902)
    The president actually had the power to get rid of the 'pork' for a short while. During Clinton's second term the Line Item Veto Act was passed giving him the power to cross out things he thought were wrong for the bill and send it back to the Congress, who would then have to approve or disapprove the changes. If they disapproved he could veto that and they they could override with 2/3rds.

    That lasted just over a year until it was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1998 as a violation of the presentment clause (Article I, Section 7).

    I think there have been some bills in Congress to change the way the rules are so that the 'riders' are related to the bill's topic, but asking Congresscritters to uphold integrity and honesty in passing bills is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse. These riders are a major source of their power and they use them all the time for their little-publicized amendments which further their own agenda.

  • by NoData ( 9132 ) <_NoData_@yah[ ]com ['oo.' in gap]> on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @09:41AM (#12498128)
    Bzzzt! Sorry, no points. I asked for a judge that the REPUBLICANS had fillibustered. Abe Fortras, Johnson's buddy who helped him rig the 1948 Texas Senate election, was fillibustered by BOTH parties

    He was filibustered by Republicans and Dixiecrats for his progressive rulings on race and due process. I'm sorry, is there a modern distinction between Republicans and the now-defunct Dixiecrats? No. And given the social agenda that underlies current Republican judicial aspirations, this is especially poignant.

    There are a number of other judicial nominees filibustered by Republicans, it's just that cloture was voted. Here's [] a very nice column on the matter. But I'll reproduce the heart of it here. Note especially the closing quote.

    Traditionally, the filibuster has not been the only weapon in an opposition party's arsenal. There are other, less visible ways whereby the Senate's rules and traditions empower individual senators to block judicial and other nominations. Between 1996 and 2000, Republicans in control of the Senate developed these techniques to a high art.

    Prior to 1996, when the Senate majority and the president were from opposing parties, senators usually deferred to the president with respect to lower-court judicial nominations. With the notable exceptions of the 1968 Fortas nomination and a failed Republican filibuster of H. Lee Sarokin in 1994, neither party filibustered the other's judicial nominations, and virtually all nominees received a hearing unless they were sent up after the presidential nominating conventions.

    All this changed in 1996. Rather than openly challenge President Clinton's nominees on the floor, Republicans decided to deny them Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. Between 1996 and 2000, 20 of Bill Clinton's appeals-court nominees were denied hearings, including Elena Kagan, now dean of the Harvard Law School, and many other women and minorities. In 1999, Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch refused to hold hearings for almost six months on any of 16 circuit-court and 31 district-court nominations Clinton had sent up. Three appeals-court nominees who did manage to obtain a hearing in Clinton's second term were denied a committee vote, including Allen R. Snyder, a distinguished Washington lawyer, Clinton White House aide, and former Rehnquist law clerk, who drew lavish praise at his hearing -- but never got a committee vote. Some 45 district-court nominees were also denied hearings, and two more were afforded hearings but not a committee vote.

    Even votes that did occur were often delayed for months and even years. In late 1999, New Hampshire Republican Bob Smith blocked a vote on 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Richard Paez for months by putting an anonymous hold on the nomination. When Majority Leader Trent Lott could no longer preserve the hold, Smith and 13 other Republicans tried to mount a filibuster against the vote, but cloture was voted and Paez easily confirmed. It had been over four years since his nomination.

    When his tactics on the Paez and Marsha Berzon nominations (Berzon was filibustered along with Paez, more than two years after her nomination) were challenged, Smith responded with an impassioned floor speech in defense of the judicial filibuster: "Don't pontificate on the floor of the Senate and tell me that somehow I am violating the Constitution of the United States of America by blocking a judge or filibustering a judge that I don't think deserves to be on the circuit court ... . That is my responsibility. That is my advice and consent role, and I intend to exercise it."
  • by DuckofDeath87 ( 816504 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @10:03AM (#12498323)
    That is scary. Although they are suppose to only use this for the one purpose, I would bet good money that they will go beyond just that purpose. It is like game wardens. In my state, they can search anything with out a warrent as long as they are only searching for poached game animals. However, they very often will help the police by claiming some suspected crack house has poached game and search the house. Then, they sieze the crack, and the police have them. This is very common practice.

    Imagine if the police now could simply call up a HS guy in any state and get them to do anything.

    What I am saying is that they will abuse this. I cannot belive anyone in their right mind would ever even consider amending this to a bill.
  • by wgaryhas ( 872268 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @11:48AM (#12499455)
    Congress does decide, but the salary change doesn't take effect until an election has been held. So if a bill passed this year that doubled senator's salaries, only the 1/3 that are up for election in '06 would get the salary increase in '06, another 1/3 would get the increase in '08, and all would have it by '10. And for a member of a house, since they all get elected every 2 years, a salary change would take affect after the next election.
  • Re:Even Worse (Score:2, Informative)

    by nbowman ( 799612 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:53PM (#12501010)
    You mean the DMCA right? []
  • Re:Ever Consider?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @02:03PM (#12501144) Journal
    For one thing, we honor treaties way too often.

    Lets see... what's happened JUST under the current leadership...

    Violated the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missles Treaty
    Killed the Biological Warfare Treaty
    Killed the Small Arms Limitation Treaty
    Killed the Anti-Personnel Land Mine Treaty
    Is actively developing space weapons systems in violation of The Outer Space Treaty
    Killed the International Criminal Court Treaty after previously signing on
    Regularly violates NAFTA
    Killed the Kyoto Treaty

    For another, our actions tend to be genuinely defensive

    Lets see... which countries has the US engaged in overt and covert aggression with in the last 50 years... I couldn't name them all, but they include

    China Italy Greece Philippines South Korea Albania Germany Iran Indonesia British Guiana Vietnam Cambodia The Congo Brazil Dominican Republic Cuba Chile East Timor Nicaragua Grenada Libya Panama Iraq El Salvador Haiti Iran Afganistan Lebanon Venezuela Sudan North Korea

    Our bonds of honor protect foregn civillians despite the fact that they aren't American

    The US is currently holding over 500 people under the bullshit label "Enemy Combatants" in Guantanamo. They are neither given the rights of civilians nor the rights of POWs. They are, however, held indefinately with no legal basis and tortured by US troops with the blessing of the government.

    Get with the program. All this rhetoric you Americans like to repeat to yourselves is NOT TRUE. Your country is an agressive fascist state. The world considers you a rogue nation and the #1 threat to world peace. Your leaders are War Criminals according to international law. Your nation is the number one aggressor on earth. Your nation is the number one arms dealer on earth. And your nation exploits everyone else on earth.

    Unless something dramatic changes from within your country, the next World War will inevitably be when we all unite to lay low the US Military/Industrial complex. It will likely happen in your lifetime. And your people will be remembered with the same fondness as the Nazis.

    Welcome to the real world.
  • Text of the bill (Score:2, Informative)

    by ssafarik ( 63841 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @02:50PM (#12501699)

    (a) Minimum Standards for Federal Use-

    (1) IN GENERAL- Beginning 3 years after the date of the enactment of this division, a Federal agency may not accept, for any official purpose, a driver's license or identification card issued by a State to any person unless the State is meeting the requirements of this section.

    (2) STATE CERTIFICATIONS- The Secretary shall determine whether a State is meeting the requirements of this section based on certifications made by the State to the Secretary of Transportation. Such certifications shall be made at such times and in such manner as the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may prescribe by regulation.

    (b) Minimum Document Requirements- To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall include, at a minimum, the following information and features on each driver's license and identification card issued to a person by the State:

    (1) The person's full legal name.

    (2) The person's date of birth.

    (3) The person's gender.

    (4) The person's driver's license or identification card number.

    (5) A digital photograph of the person.

    (6) The person's address of principle residence.

    (7) The person's signature.

    (8) Physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication of the document for fraudulent purposes.

    (9) A common machine-readable technology, with defined minimum data elements.

    (c) Minimum Issuance Standards-

    (1) IN GENERAL- To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall require, at a minimum, presentation and verification of the following information before issuing a driver's license or identification card to a person:

    (A) A photo identity document, except that a non-photo identity document is acceptable if it includes both the person's full legal name and date of birth.

    (B) Documentation showing the person's date of birth.

    (C) Proof of the person's social security account number or verification that the person is not eligible for a social security account number.

    (D) Documentation showing the person's name and address of principal residence.


    (A) IN GENERAL- To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall comply with the minimum standards of this paragraph.

    (B) EVIDENCE OF LAWFUL STATUS- A State shall require, before issuing a driver's license or identification card to a person, valid documentary evidence that the person--

    (i) is a citizen of the United States;

    (ii) is an alien lawfully admitted for permanent or temporary residence in the United States;

    (iii) has conditional permanent resident status in the United States;

    (iv) has an approved application for asylum in the United States or has entered into the United States in refugee status;

    (v) has a valid, unexpired nonimmigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa status for entry into the United States;

    (vi) has a pending application for asylum in the United States;

    (vii) has a pending or approved application for temporary protected status in the United States;

    (viii) has approved deferred action status; or

    (ix) has a pending application for adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States or conditional permanent resident status in the United States.


    (i) IN GENERAL- If a person presents evidence under any of clauses (v) through (ix) of subparagraph (B), the State may only issue a temporary driver's license or temporary identification card to the person.

    (ii) EXPIRATION DATE- A temporary driver's license or temporary identification card issued pursuant to this subparagraph shall be valid only during the period of time of the applicant's authorized sta

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