Maine Strikes Blow For Free Speech!

Maine has taken a strong stand against the Real ID Act. Bastions of freedom that they were, the said the act was an unconscionable infringement on civil liberties too expensive for the state to fund.

Maine revolts against digital U.S. ID card

Maine lawmakers on Thursday became the first in the nation to demand repeal of a federal law tightening identification requirements for drivers’ licenses, a post-September 11 security measure that states say will cost them billions of dollars to administer.

Maine lawmakers passed a resolution urging repeal of the Real ID Act, which would create a national digital identification system by 2008. The lawmakers said it would cost Maine about $185 million, fail to boost security and put people at greater risk of identity theft.

“We cannot be spending millions of state dollars on an initiative that does more harm to our state than good,” said Maine’s House Majority leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat, in a statement that called it a “massive unfunded federal mandate.”

Those of us who believe in civil liberties see a digital national ID card as the first step in the “show us your papers” world. To legislators in Maine, it’s only a problem if the feds don’t pick up the tab.