If You Live In South Carolina, Get A Passport And Carry It Whenever You Travel, Even Domestically.

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Why? Because of this:

Gov. Mark Sanford said today that he will not comply with the federal Department of Homeland Security’s standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and IDs, meaning S.C. residents could be subjected to extra security screenings when boarding airplanes or entering federal buildings.

Using a passport rather than an SC Driver’s License will (hopefully) solve this problem.

Update: Sanford’s objections to compliance are articulated here.

–Ann Bartow

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11 Responses to If You Live In South Carolina, Get A Passport And Carry It Whenever You Travel, Even Domestically.

  1. ssladler says:

    I’m just going to carry an old family bible.

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    Good one, ssladler. This blog isn’t an appropriate place for me to go on a tirade about what nincompoops our elected officials are, but buy me a virtual beer sometime…

  3. Samquilla says:

    I don’t know about South Carolina’s particular situation, but the Governor is not necessarily a nincompoop. The new requirements for state licenses require the states to deny licenses to undocumented immigrants, and to require immigrants with work permits to renew their licenses EVERY YEAR. And, they have to make sure that the receive their new, renewed work permit before their license expires, so that they can use it to get a license. What it does is cause significantly more people to be driving without a valid license, resulting in criminal charges rather than tickets when they’re stopped for speeding, etc.

    I’ve also had clients who, though born in the United States, had trouble proving their “legal presence” because they have lost their birth certificates, or their parents failed to change their name from “baby boy” to their actual name within the required time period.

    Just saying, there’s lots of reasons that states and localities are bucking against this law that doesn’t involve being a nincompoop.

  4. Ann Bartow says:

    Samquilla, if you think this is about solicitousness towards immigrants, you are profoundly mistaken. Sanford’s concern is with this being an “unfunded federal mandate.” Read the “update” link above.

  5. Pingback: Should you need a passport WITHIN the U.S.? | Blog and News Tidbets

  6. mmm_smurfs says:

    It’s highly unlikely that anyone will ever be kept off an airplane or kept out of a public building. Chertoff simply doesn’t have the guts to enforce it. Montana’s governor recently sent DHS a letter very similar to Sanford’s. DHS’ odd response was to spin it as an application for an extension even though the letter was clear that Montana would never implement Real ID. http://www.kpvi.com/Global/story.asp?S=8068380
    And even if they try to enforce it, it will likely get tied up in courts for a spell. There are very reasonable arguments that keeping someone off an airplane violates the right to travel and that keeping people out of public building violates the right to petition one’s government for redress of grievances and possible the right to defend one’s self in court.
    Real ID was fundamentally flawed attempt to force a national ID card on Americans and Governor Sanford is right to resist.

  7. Ann Bartow says:

    mmm_smurf, your comments don’t make a lot of sense to me. The issue as I understand it is “extra security screenings” rather than keeping people off planes or out of buildings altogether. And it sounds like the holders of SC licenses better get used to that idea.

    Incidentally, airlines are private companies. The TSA may do the security screening at an airport but each airline can decide boarding requirements for itself, above and beyond whatever the TSA imposes, if it wants to. And if an airline decides to require a passport when a state driver’s license does not meet certain standards, how could there be a constitutional “right to travel” problem? I’m guessing you are not a lawyer.

    Also, I’m not sure what the laws are with respect to gaining admission to public buildings, but I suspect a lot of latitude is given to whoever is in charge of keeping any given federal building secure. Meaning “extra security screenings” for SC license holders would almost certainly be constitutional as well.

  8. Ann Bartow says:

    mmm_smurf, your last comment was abusive and therefore will not post. You do not seem to have even a basic grasp of the TSA regime. Sanford is making a bad situation even worse for South Carolinians. Read this:


    Below is an excerpt from this media account:

    “On Monday the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a Ninth Circuit appeals court decision which found that Americans do not have a”right to travel by any particular form of transportation”and do not have the right to know the laws and regulations they must obey.

    The justices let stand without comment the January 2006 appeals court decision.

    In 2002, John Gilmore attempted twice to board an airplane without showing government-issued identification and was denied boarding both times. Officials repeatedly refused to show him a law or regulation which required him to show ID, claiming it was sensitive security information, and he went to court.

    Copies of the security directive in question have been leaked and have been available on the Internet for years. It does not require passengers to show identification, but does require that anyone who does not show identification go through secondary screening and requires special handling procedures for their checked baggage.

    But Gilmore’s Supreme Court appeal wasn’t about being asked to show ID so much as being asked to follow a law without being able to know what the law says.

    According to a statement by the Identity Project, which Gilmore heads and funds,”We must insist that our elected representatives control the TSA, and hold it accountable for its actions by, first, demanding that it make public this and any other laws it promulgates to bind the public.”: 27B Stroke 6

    Gilmore calls secret law”an abomination”and says that it violates his right to due process. But now, with the refusal of the Supreme Court to hear this case, Americans can be subject to secret laws. Didn’t think that sort of thing could happen here? It can now.

    Oh, and as the Ninth Circuit said in its decision,”the Constitution does not guarantee the right to travel by any particular form of transportation.”You don’t have the right to travel either, according to these people.

  9. Ann Bartow says:

    If anyone reading wants to learn more, many of the briefs from Gilmore v. Gonzales are here:

  10. Samquilla says:

    My comment was not so much intended to suggest that this particular governor’s motives have to do with sympathy for the plight of immigrants, both documented and undocumented, but rather to suggest that readers of this blog might support a rejection of REAL ID on those grounds.

    This law, and whether states comply or reject it, has very serious consequences for immigrants, documented and undocumented, and for people with few resources who are not good at keeping their paperwork all in order to prove where and when they were born and that they are, in fact, US citizens. The resources that the states will spend charging people with driving without a valid license are also real.

    Our personal inconvenience at having to bring our passports along with us for air travel should not be the determining factor as to whether or not we support REAL ID.

  11. Ann Bartow says:

    If Gov. Sanford wanted to make an effective, principled objection, he shouldn’t have waited until yesterday, long after forty some states have already capitulated and it’s pretty much a done deal, at least unil a court is willing to get substantively involved. Now he’s just grandstanding at the expense of South Carolinians.

    And this is is about more than “our personal inconvenience at having to bring our passports along with us for air travel.” A lot of South Carolinians (some immigrants) DON’T HAVE passports. Passports are expensive and inconvenient to obtain, and it takes a while to do so. If Sanford wants to fight REAL ID on principle, fine, all I ask is that he brings SC into compliance in the mean time. I have a passport, but there are a lot of moderate and low income people who do not, but who still have to travel by air for various family and employment related reasons. This could hit them really hard, though it looks like we may have gotten a temporary reprieve:

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