Last week, while in Richmond on other business, I found myself among a crowd gathered on the grounds of the State Capitol to protest the federal government's attempt to impose so-called "Real ID" on Virginia and other states. The Daily News Record of Harrisonburg had a report on January 13 about how new Virginia drivers' licenses are being designed and deployed in a manner consistent with federal Department of Homeland Security's Real ID requirements. The Daily Press of Newport News published an AP article by Dena Potter on January 2 that laid out the objections that civil libertarians and others have with regard to the imposition of the Real ID Act on the states and citizens.
State Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-Fairfax) and Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) have each introduced legislation designed to "stop dangerous ID" in the Commonwealth.
Cuccinelli's bill, SB841, has been referred to the transportation committee and would do the following:
Prohibits DMV or any other agency of the Commonwealth from using any type of computer chip or radio-frequency identification on licenses and identification cards and from sharing certain data with other states or with any federal government agency. Further provides that no biometric data will be gathered or retained.Marshall's companion bill, HB1587, has also been referred to the Committee on Transportation, and it is summarized as follows:
Provides that the Commonwealth will not participate in the compliance of any provision of the federal Real ID Act and of any other federal law, regulation, or policy that would compromise the economic privacy or biometric data of any resident of the Commonwealth.Neither bill has yet had a committee vote.
The speakers at the rally in Richmond on January 21 were passionate in their opposition to Real ID. I arrived a few minutes late, so I missed the first two or three speakers. I turned on my video camera just as Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League took the microphone. He was introduced (as were all the other speakers) by Patrick McSweeney, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.
Part I, featuring Philip Van Cleave:
Part II, featuring Hope Amezquita, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia:
Part III, featuring Herb Lux, the president of the American Patriots Committee:
Part IV, featuring Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America:
Part V, featuring Petey Browder of the Tidewater Libertarian Party:
Part VI features Sam Beatty of the National Veterans Committee on Constitutional Affairs:
Part VII features Jim Capo, state coordinator of the John Birch Society for North Carolina and Virginia:
Part VIII features radio host David Alan Carmichael:
Part IX features the patron of SB841, state Senator Ken Cuccinelli:
Parts X and XI feature Delegate Bob Marshall, the patron of HB1587. Marshall was the only speaker whose remarks lasted more than 10 minutes, hence the split in the video.