Archive for the 'Identity' Category

Potential Questions Presented

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

This is an initial list of potential questions presented for the petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court.

Q. Does TSA’s classification of the law requiring identification to fly domestically as a government secret violate the constitution?

Q. Did the appellate court err in holding that the identification requirement to travel by air did not violate the freedom of movement or right to travel?

Q. Did the appellate court err in holding that the identification requirement to travel by air did not violate the Fourth Amendment?

Q. Do the jurisdictional and procedural requirements surrounding a legal challenge to the identification requirement to fly domestically preclude effective judicial review of this administrative action?

What should we add to or take out of this list? How could we phrase the questions better?

Central issue of Gilmore v. Gonzales

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

In the United States today, interstate travel is essentially impossible without showing identification or being prepared to do so. A driver’s license is required to drive. Most common carriers — air, train, and ship — prohibit travel to those who refuse to show identification. Perhaps minor government-imposed restrictions on any one form of travel may not infringe a citizen’s right to travel. Cumulatively, however, a citizen who refuses or is unable to present identification is effectively unable to freely travel from one part of this country to another.

Without even a nod from Congress, the Executive Branch has imposed these ID requirements on the public, using secret regulations. So far the Judiciary has acquiesced wholeheartedly. If the US has become a society in which people “without papers” are unpersons, who have no fundamental civil rights, there should be more debate than this. I (John Gilmore) have been living without ID for several years, to learn by personal experience what rights are gone and what rights remain. I brought this case to bring the judiciary into the debate.

Supreme Court cert petition in Gilmore v. Gonzales

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

I’ve decided to appeal the 9th Circuit ruling to the Supreme Court.

(We tried asking for reconsideration and got zero votes from the judges. It seems they’ve pigeonholed me into the “nuisance suit” category; they went through the motions, but didn’t take the case seriously. My opinion of the judicial branch is at an all-time low. I’ve seen the justice system turn out actual justice many times, but these judges chose not to do that. In this case as in so many others, judges are letting the Executive Branch destroy the fundamental underpinnings of free societies, while finding any lame excuse to discard the few legal challenges.)

I’m looking for help from the legal blog community. I can find so many things “wrong with” the 9th Circuit’s ruling that it’s hard to choose the best grounds for appeal. The problems range from ignoring inconvenient facts in the record that blow their reasoning (Southwest flatly refused me passage without offering me the option of a physical search; yet the physical search was all that saved the constitutionality of the ID demand). And bald unsupported conclusions of law, like deciding that the constitutional right to travel is never infringed “given that other forms of travel remain possible”. Is freedom of movement a right that can only be enforced after it’s extinguished? (I haven’t mentioned the major procedural problems.)

I’m asking you to read the case documents, particularly the Ninth Circuit Opinion (435 F.3d 1125) and the subsequent Petition For Rehearing. What did this ruling do to the right to travel? To the right to be free of vague and secret laws? To the public’s ability to decline government “requests” or demands for ID?

And then what among those issues is ripe for revision by the Supreme Court? Which issues are there circuit splits about? Or obvious implications elsewhere?

We’ll be posting our own lists shortly, as well as posting outlines of our arguments, and eventual drafts of our Supreme Court petition for cert. Come help!

New blog about identification and civil rights

Thursday, June 1st, 2006 is a new blog where John Gilmore and others are discussing identification, Real ID, National ID, ID to travel, ID to fly, ID to enter federal buildings, ID to show cops, whether these are good ideas in free societies, whether ID checks serve any useful purpose, and related issues.