REAL ID’s Whirling Dervishes

by on February 29, 2008 · 4 comments

As to the spin that applying for a REAL ID extension amounts to planning for compliance, nothing takes the cake quite like an email that was forwarded to me today. Because I can’t find an online version, I’ve screen-capped the relevant part of an email sent out by Digimarc lobbyist Mark Rhoads:

REAL%20ID%20Spin.jpg

For reference, here is the relevant language from the regulation. You can infer from this what everyone involved in the process knows – the extension to December 31, 2009 is a free pass. It requires no statement of compliance, and it has been given to states that will not comply:

Sec. 37.63 Extension of deadline.

(a) A State may request an initial extension by filing a request with the Secretary no later than March 31, 2008. In the absence of extraordinary circumstances, such an extension request will be deemed justified for a period lasting until, but not beyond, December 31, 2009. DHS shall notify a State of its acceptance of the State’s request for initial extension within 45 days of receipt.

(b) States granted an initial extension may file a request for an additional extension until no later than May 10, 2011, by submitting a Material Compliance Checklist demonstrating material compliance, per Sec. 37.51(b) with certain elements of subparts A through E as defined by DHS. Such additional extension request must be filed by October 11, 2009. DHS shall notify a State whether an additional extension has been granted within 45 days of receipt of the request and documents described above.

(c) Subsequent extensions, if any, will be at the discretion of the Secretary.

  • http://mcgath.blogspot.com Gary McGath

    As the states all rush to capitulate, you’re still trying to hold onto your illusion that Real ID is going to collapse any moment. New Hampshire, last I checked, is one of the states that hasn’t filed for an extension — because there was a campaign to tell Governor Lynch not to go ahead with the request he was reputedly drafting.

    If the state governments are still intending not to comply in the face of the federal government’s threats, then what is the point of their asking for an extension? Are they just buying time until Real ID magically vanishes?

  • http://mcgath.blogspot.com Gary McGath

    As the states all rush to capitulate, you’re still trying to hold onto your illusion that Real ID is going to collapse any moment. New Hampshire, last I checked, is one of the states that hasn’t filed for an extension — because there was a campaign to tell Governor Lynch not to go ahead with the request he was reputedly drafting.

    If the state governments are still intending not to comply in the face of the federal government’s threats, then what is the point of their asking for an extension? Are they just buying time until Real ID magically vanishes?

  • http://www.cato.org/people/harper.html Jim Harper

    Gary, the states that haven’t yet filed for an extension are Montana, South Carolina, and Maine. It’s not clear that you understand the rest of the context either, though my last two posts gave it to you.

    Most states have accepted an obligation-free extension until December, 2009. Several of these states have passed statutes refusing to implement REAL ID. That is not capitulation (though DHS and friends are spinning it as such); it is kicking the can down the road.

    The governors in the states I just mentioned are considering forcing a confrontation over REAL ID. This will not permit the airlines to “go along” because the DHS threatens to turn airline travel from a marginally profitable business to a marginally unprofitable business. Businesses – and airlines in particular – are usually lackeys to politicians because it’s in their economic self-interest, not for sport. When it’s in their economic self-interest to change REAL ID, they’ll be on it.

    Now, there’s no guarantee that the governors from these states will hold out and force this confrontation – I have hope, but not illusions. It will not be magic that brings down REAL ID, but a well-placed judo kick to its teetering edifice.

  • http://www.cato.org/people/harper.html Jim Harper

    Gary, the states that haven’t yet filed for an extension are Montana, South Carolina, and Maine. It’s not clear that you understand the rest of the context either, though my last two posts gave it to you.

    Most states have accepted an obligation-free extension until December, 2009. Several of these states have passed statutes refusing to implement REAL ID. That is not capitulation (though DHS and friends are spinning it as such); it is kicking the can down the road.

    The governors in the states I just mentioned are considering forcing a confrontation over REAL ID. This will not permit the airlines to “go along” because the DHS threatens to turn airline travel from a marginally profitable business to a marginally unprofitable business. Businesses – and airlines in particular – are usually lackeys to politicians because it’s in their economic self-interest, not for sport. When it’s in their economic self-interest to change REAL ID, they’ll be on it.

    Now, there’s no guarantee that the governors from these states will hold out and force this confrontation – I have hope, but not illusions. It will not be magic that brings down REAL ID, but a well-placed judo kick to its teetering edifice.

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