Missouri wouldn’t comply with provisions of the Real ID Act of 2005 under a bill approved by the House and heading to the Senate.
"The Real ID Act violates the United States Constitution and I took an oath on this floor to uphold the Missouri and the US Constitutions," Rep. Jim Guest (R-King City) told colleagues during House floor debate on his bill, HCS HB 361 . "I feel compelled to pass legislation to uphold that."
The contention by Guest that the Real ID Act violates the 1st, 4th and 10th Amendment struck Rep. Don Calloway (D-St. Louis) as an overreach.
"I’m kind of concerned when we throw around words like unconstitutional," Calloway said during floor debate.
Calloway claimed the government has a compelling reason to override 1st Amendment freedom of religion rights to protect public safety. He dismissed Guest’s assertion that it violates the 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
"I would argue with you gentleman, that the federal Real ID Act of 2005 is not a violation of the 4th Amendment, because this is a voluntary production of papers and effects," Calloway told Guest.
Guest responded that it was not voluntary.
"Since when is it voluntary," Guest asked Calloway. "It’s a mandate of the federal government."
Guest succeeded during the amendment process on the House floor to return the bill more to the substance of his original measure. His own committee had overridden his initial bill, providing for an option. The committee wanted to allow Missourians who didn’t object to the provisions of the Real ID Act to apply for an official, federal identification card. Those who objected wouldn’t be forced to apply for one. The full House removed the language that provided the option.
Critics of Guest’s measure say it will pose incredible difficulties for Missourians, making it difficult for them to do business on federal property and to navigate airport security to make flights. Guest responds that any Missourian who wants to can apply with the federal government or even the airlines to receive identification acceptable to meet security restrictions once the Real ID provisions go into effect, perhaps as early as 2011.