So just what is the status of REAL ID?
REAL ID, of course, is the government's attempt to forcibly turn every state driver's license into a de facto internal passport, complete with electronic and biometric identifiers.
In "A Nation of Cringing Wretches. . .." Eric Peters wrote, "Soon, however, we may all be required to submit not merely to being fingerprinted – but perhaps also be forced to allow our retinas to be scanned, possibly our DNA itself catalogued.
He explained, "The federal Real ID Act is why" and then offered, "the Real ID Act is very real indeed."
Emails invading inboxes from Conservative Action Alerts, complete with bolds and underlines, insist that REAL ID will be imposed on all of us on May 22 by Barack Obama's government, apparently forgetting while wailing, "It is shocking to think that the United States of America is about to resemble Nazi Germany" that this legislation was birthed by the Bush administration.
Meanwhile, The Tenth Amendment Center reminds us that while the act remains on the books 25 states have passed "resolutions and binding laws" denouncing and refusing to implement it, making the law, in practice, "virtually null and void."
So what's the reality of REAL ID?
For that we turn to the Libertarian News Examiner's Special Correspondent on such matters, Sheila Dean of Beat the Chip (see Interview Part I and Part II).
"I think people should get over the term of this law as 'dead' or 'alive,'" Dean warns.
While noting that states' nullification or refusal to adopt the law "did a lot in terms of creating national leverage against further instituting the Real ID Act," Dean also reminds us that it's still the law and will remain the law "Until it is defunded or otherwise statutorily neutered."
Some states are implementing their own regulations, like adding holograms and bar codes to their drivers' licenses and "doing biometric conversions of your photographs," Dean says.
Washington State has opted for RFIDs and other technologies, while a license hologram in California is in compliance for "Secured Flight" recognized by the TSA and DHS to fly," Dean further points out.
And recently the Cato Institute advised Florida against enactment.
Dean's advice? "We still need a very strong national campaign push to repeal or completely reform what's wrong with Real ID before we are rid of it."