Join 3,553 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Godwin Overnight Express
May 12, 2005 9:21 AM   Subscribe

What your Congress is doing while you sleep... Tacking riders on to military spending bills is nothing new and an easy way to get legislation passed. With the recently passed Real ID Act, however, post-9/11 America takes a decidely fascist left turn: §102(c) "No court shall have jurisdiction to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security, or order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision." This new legislation dramatically — if quietly — usurps the separation of powers established over 200 years ago, and the consequences are absolutely chilling, allowing the Department of Homeland Security to commit any criminal behavior it sees fit, without having to answer to existing state and federal laws. All the way from checking IDs on request, to detaining political undesirables, to South American-style "disappearances". And where are our so-called liberal media outlets to report on this amazing and unprecedented transfer of power?
posted by AlexReynolds (117 comments total)

 
"fascist left turn"??? Now I'm really confused....
posted by warbaby at 9:25 AM on May 12, 2005


where are our so-called liberal media outlets to report on this amazing and unprecedented transfer of power?

Maybe they are sane, measured and fair-minded enough to acknowledge that the RealID histrionics are much ado about nothing....
posted by dios at 9:25 AM on May 12, 2005


Not that it would matter in this situation, but I sure wish the Republicans hadn't canned the line-item veto.
posted by terrapin at 9:26 AM on May 12, 2005


Excellent, dios, you didn't read even the paragraph summary.
posted by jscott at 9:26 AM on May 12, 2005


In case the first link expires: H.R. 418: REAL ID Act of 2005 (Referred to Senate Committee after being Received from House)
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:27 AM on May 12, 2005


We have had this discussion at least four times... what is there to read? It's the same outrage and hysterics about a bill with just standardizes licensing requirements and limits whether the Courts can rule the action unconstitutional.
posted by dios at 9:28 AM on May 12, 2005


Replace with with which.
posted by dios at 9:28 AM on May 12, 2005


Yeah it's ridiculous that they would pass something like that. But that section will be struck down as unconstitutional, eventually.
posted by furtive at 9:29 AM on May 12, 2005


Legislation that attempts to "usurp the balance of powers" is routinely invalidated as unconstitutional by the judiciary. I agree that exempting Homeland Security from judicial review is a bad idea, but it seems unlikely to succeed.
posted by anapestic at 9:29 AM on May 12, 2005


These Congress critters are obviously very desperately underpaid. Who else could present bills created by their corporate masters and get them ratified in such record time?
Time to vote themselves another raise!!
posted by nofundy at 9:31 AM on May 12, 2005


This just writes into law a long-standing doctrine that political decisions can't be questioned by the courts. The Federal Tort Claims Act allows suits against officials acting in their ministerial capacity (aka, just following a few simple rules without room for discretion), but political officers have never been subject to suit.

I sure wish the Republicans hadn't canned the line-item veto.

Line-item veto was only for spending and a limited set of tax cuts. Never would have applied to this part of a bill. Doing so would probably be unconstitutional. It's still not clear that a line-item veto in itself would be constitutional.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:32 AM on May 12, 2005


That's funny, dios... this piece of the law that's written above doesn't sound like what you're talking about:

"No court shall have jurisdiction to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security, or order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision."

How is what I just quoted not something to be concerned about? Why should any action taken by the Secretary of Homeland Security be outside the jurisdiction of any court? This doesn't mention anything about ID standards.
posted by odinsdream at 9:32 AM on May 12, 2005


Wait-- according to the Reason article, that ability to waive laws is limited to para 1, with allows the Secretary of DHS to waive laws in order "to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads." I had the impression from reading the fpp that he could waive any darn law he pleased and that there could be no judicial review; but I'm pretty sure that the authority-- and the non-reviewability-- is actually limited to some environmental laws.

Still not the greatest thing in the history of Anglo-American jurisprudence, but I don't think this is the strongest evidence that we're on the express train to Godwinwille.
posted by ibmcginty at 9:34 AM on May 12, 2005


Still not the greatest thing in the history of Anglo-American jurisprudence, but I don't think this is the strongest evidence that we're on the express train to Godwinwille

How can we have a flamewar if you're being so gosh-darn reasonable...
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:36 AM on May 12, 2005


"fascist left turn"??? Now I'm really confused....

warbaby, at the extremes the left and right merge into the same evil thing.

But that section will be struck down as unconstitutional, eventually.

wishful thinking, furtive, and highly unlikely if republicans succeed in packing the courts as they intend.
posted by three blind mice at 9:39 AM on May 12, 2005


Previously mentioned on mefi here.

Also, I learned a a few interesting bits about Real ID from a legal perspective here.
posted by p3t3 at 9:39 AM on May 12, 2005


The part that is cited (102(c)) says there is no judicial review of a SPECIFIC issue.

I guess we need a remedial course in statutory interpretation.

The part cited is as follows:

NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- ...... (A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1);

What does paragraph 1 say?

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.

So what is this? It is a piece of legislation that reinforces the standing principle of eminent domain. The department can do what is necessary to implement the barriers and roads. There can't be review of those decisions.

This isn't nearly the horror that people are making it out to be, and by making a big deal out of it, you are pushing people to Outrage Exhaustion.
posted by dios at 9:41 AM on May 12, 2005


As I pointed out last time we discussed this, the language AlexReynolds cites isn't in the passed version of the legislation. There's a similar, though less restrictive, waiver.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:41 AM on May 12, 2005


thedevildancedlightly: Hence why I said "Not that it would matter in this situation."
posted by terrapin at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2005


Which brings me back to my initial point to answer Alex's question: perhaps the papers aren't making a big deal about it because, in fact, it is NOT a big deal. Eminent domain already existed.
posted by dios at 9:43 AM on May 12, 2005


Hence why I said "Not that it would matter in this situation."

Sorry, I interpreted the "not that it would matter" to mean "because the President is a member of the same party as Congress". You are entirely correct.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2005


This is an absurd provision, and I suspect is one of those clauses everyone knows will eventually be found unconstitutional (which, of course, doesn't excuse it).

I sure wish the Republicans hadn't canned the line-item veto.

Actually, you have your history mixed up. The Republicans did not can the line-item veto -- the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. In fact, it was Republicans who supported it (it was part of the infamous "Contract With America"), and generally Democrats who opposed it.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2005


You idiot.

You link to the text of the bill, and yet you misquote it.

You write: §102(c) "No court shall have jurisdiction to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security, or order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.

What it actualy says: `(2) NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court, administrative agency, or other entity shall have jurisdiction--

`(A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or

`(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.'.


What does paragraph (1) say?
`(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.

In other words, the Secretary of Homeland security can now take land (probably near the border) to build roads and fences. nothing else. In other words, if the government wants to build a fence or road on your property, you can't go to the courts and get an injunction to stop it.

Lots of text in your 'quotation' isn't even in the actual bill. I hate the ID part of Real-ID bill, but this particular bit doesn’t give the Secretary of homeland defense dictator rights.

There are a lot of bad things in Real ID, and excuse me for being blunt, but how fucking stupid do you have to be to write a made up quote that doesn’t even appear in the bill and then freak out about it without even bothering to read the 300 or so words that make up the actual text you’re bitching about?

Pretty fucking stupid, I'd say.
posted by delmoi at 9:45 AM on May 12, 2005


This reads like a release form you sign for going bungee jumping. If you die, its not their fault. Even if they intentionally screw up putting the harness on and forget to attach the bungees.

Oh yeah, and they signed it for you.

Eeek.
posted by fenriq at 9:45 AM on May 12, 2005


I suspect is one of those clauses everyone knows will eventually be found unconstitutional

My gut feeling is exactly the opposite - that this is a codification of long-standing common-law doctrine. Basically, political officers aren't subject to judicial review in a large number of capacities. You can't personally sue the President because you disagree with the way that he handled the War on Terror. This says that you can't personally sue Homeland Security becasue you disagree with the way they built barriers and roads.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:47 AM on May 12, 2005


hmm, now I see that you simply "removed" words from the quotation without adding elipses so that people knew what you did. In particular, you removed "Persuant to paragraph (1)" which is only, like, the most important part.

Did you just not know what "Persuant" meant?
posted by delmoi at 9:49 AM on May 12, 2005


OK, awesome, so they can do any illegal shit they want to make a road. That means anything, including murder, poisoning the water, confiscation of assets, and revokation of citizenship. Yep, just a minor extension of eminent domain.
posted by breath at 9:49 AM on May 12, 2005


Thanks, delmoi and tddl. I feel stupid for failing to read for myself the actual text before commenting. Not as stupid as I hope AlexReynolds feels for creating a completely misleading and histrionic front page post, but stupid all the same.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:53 AM on May 12, 2005


Pardonyou?: I am seriously curious... How did it get reviewed? Wouldn't someone have to question the constitutionality of the law? I admit I do not recall the details of how it was taken away, and only have a fuzzy recollection of the Republicans wanting the law, but not wanting Clinton to have the law.
posted by terrapin at 9:53 AM on May 12, 2005


OK, awesome, so they can do any illegal shit they want to make a road.

To me it sounds like you can't question the decision of how/when/where/why to build a road, that's why it's
review" of the decision
of the secretary that's prohibited.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:54 AM on May 12, 2005


political officers aren't subject to judicial review in a large number of capacities.

That's not quite accurate. The Administrative Procedure Act has tons and tons of requirements that federal agencies must comply with before issuing regulations and taking actions. You are right that courts won't go too far in reviewing the President's political actions, but it's just not the case that DHS, or DOD, or other agencies can just make unreviewable political decisions-- their powers and procedures are all pretty well defined and are being challenged in courts all the darn time.

As has been discussed, the law in this is only about building roads/environmental laws.
posted by ibmcginty at 9:56 AM on May 12, 2005


Thanks, delmoi and tddl. I feel stupid for failing to read for myself the actual text before commenting.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:53 AM PST on May 12

posted by dios at 9:59 AM on May 12, 2005


has tons and tons of requirements that federal agencies must comply with before issuing regulations and taking actions

Definitely agreed that the agency is subject to review, but are the actions of cabinet-level department chiefs? I'm at the end of my knowledge here.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:59 AM on May 12, 2005


So, are the states going to have to go into debt to implement the RealID changes the same way they went into debt over No Child Left Behind?
posted by Jon-o at 9:59 AM on May 12, 2005


..All the way from checking IDs on request, to detaining political undesirables who try to stop them from building roads, to South American-style "disappearances" against people who ask them not to put up protective road barriers.
posted by DigDugDag at 10:00 AM on May 12, 2005


If the provision is just for the allowance of building roads, it may not be far reaching - but it still is a huge deal. Eminent Domain sucks most of the time. This law + the allowing of road building in National Parks is a gateway for the logging industry.

And for the record, the Line Item Veto was supported by both Democrats and Republicans *. Don't think there were many Democrats against it.
posted by destro at 10:01 AM on May 12, 2005


Thank you, too, dios. Now I feel, um, stupider.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:05 AM on May 12, 2005


Don't. I was just playing around.
posted by dios at 10:08 AM on May 12, 2005


Bush Administration Rolls Back Rule on Building Forest Roads (NY Times link)

This passed less than a week ago.
posted by destro at 10:10 AM on May 12, 2005


Link
posted by destro at 10:12 AM on May 12, 2005


Alex, this is an extremely weak post. After having a chance to read it, this is crap.

I do give you points for invoking Godwin in the title for the page, its probably not a record but nice work.
posted by fenriq at 10:16 AM on May 12, 2005


Here's why you should be concerned about this, dios. It's not the roads, it's the barriers. Let's say that the activist judges doing the bidding of the Democrat cabal steal the 2008 election and appoint President Hillary Rodham as Dictator-for-Life. Director of Homeland Security Michael Moore exercises his eminent domain to build a barrier, thirty feet high and topped with razor wire, around you and everyone else who supported the Bush regime. You won't be able to do a damn thing about it. Won't you regret supporting this legislation then?
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:19 AM on May 12, 2005


Unconstitutional? I don't think so. Article 3, Section 2:

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

And since Congress created the lower courts I don't see why they shouldn't have the right to remove jurisdiction. This issue came up on Ars Technica (of all places) a couple days ago, and there is an interesting discussion on the OpenForum.
posted by sbutler at 10:19 AM on May 12, 2005


How did it get reviewed? Wouldn't someone have to question the constitutionality of the law?

terrapin, Here's the Supreme Court's decision in Clinton v. New York, which explains the procedural history (the law was first challenged by six congresspeople who had voted against it. The cases that eventually reached the Supreme Court were brought by the City of New York, some hospital associations and unions, and by a co-op of 30 Idaho potato farmers).

destro, the vote on the Line Item Veto Act in the Senate was 69-31. Republicans were 50-3 in support, while Democrats were 19-28 against. For what it's worth.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:21 AM on May 12, 2005


Dios. Remember when Republicans would smugly say "At least we don't need to present our papers like those crazy Europeans." Now the same Republicans are largely arguing for this? Is the irony not delicious?

I agree it ain't a one way trip to concentration camps or anything. But it still an intelligent citizen should remain wary.

Legislation that attempts to "usurp the balance of powers" is routinely invalidated as unconstitutional by the judiciary.

Until the far right succeeds in loading the courts away from those kooky "activist" liberal judges.
posted by tkchrist at 10:24 AM on May 12, 2005


dios, fair enough. My apologies for misquoting the law as a result of believing that the full text was present in the FPP text. Thanks for posting the -entire- text, with all the important bits like "pursuant to" and so forth, since those -entirely- change the meaning of the paragraph. Sorry for jumping on your back.

AlexReynolds, ellipses are your friends, they help everyone else know you intentionally cut text out of the quotation.
posted by odinsdream at 10:32 AM on May 12, 2005


AlexReynolds -- maybe you should email Matt and ask him for some FPP editorial work for the sake of the hearts of the later readers hmm?
Or deletion?
posted by peacay at 10:38 AM on May 12, 2005


pardonyou: ah, good catch. sorry about that. I had read a number of articles saying Democrats were in support of it, including the article you linked to, but I guess they meant relative to how they usually oppose it. Particularly since it takes power away from Congress - something Democrats usually have the majority in.
posted by destro at 10:43 AM on May 12, 2005


But it still an intelligent citizen should remain wary.

Definitely. I think we all agree that the "Godwin Overnight Express", not quite "disappearances", "unprecedented" and so forth aren't quite accurate, but it's not exactly the best thing to ever happen in the history of american legislation.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 10:49 AM on May 12, 2005


devildancedlightly, no, its not the best piece of legislation ever but this is a bad reaction to it, hysteria solves little.
posted by fenriq at 10:59 AM on May 12, 2005


I think this post is AlexReynolds' way of trying to tell us that he, like Rush Limbaugh, is incapable of embarassment, or of contemplating or discussing facts without twisting them to fit preconceived notions.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:59 AM on May 12, 2005


By the way, has anyone activated the Matt Signal?
posted by fenriq at 11:01 AM on May 12, 2005


Incidentally delmoi, it's even more limiting in that it simply updates a portion of the 1996 law establishing the 14 mile barrier running from the Pacific at San Diego inland. It isn't even blanket coverage for all barriers. It is a specific stop gap (literally) measure to close a 3.5 mile stretch of the fence that has been held up in courts on environmental law suits despite having been already cleared by EPA and Interior.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:09 AM on May 12, 2005


By the way, has anyone activated the Matt Signal?

I say let it stand as an example.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 11:24 AM on May 12, 2005


I'm starting to feel less and less outrage when the GOP passes totally idiotic legislation. Everything they are doing will be used against them in ways that we can only whine about a slippery slope today. All it is going to take is for the political left (or center) to get off their high horse and realise that you can't try and play fair anymore. The right has co-opted this strategy fully. We keep whining that it isn't fair. OK, It's not fair. You can't win in any game if you are the only one playing by the rules. We need to quit whining about what is right, demote ourselves to their level, and take back the power.
I'll be an official apologist/rationalist/winking eye turned the other way. It will be the right wing nutjobs that will be squealing like stuck pigs when laws that they passed start being used against them. And I'll laugh, and laugh!
I think there is going to be a big backlash, and 2006, hell, even 2008 is really not that far off.
Bring em on! Into the fray!
posted by Balisong at 11:27 AM on May 12, 2005


I say let it stand as an example.

Good idea. My dislike of how laws are being enacted these days clouded my judgement. Dumb FPP.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:29 AM on May 12, 2005


I was kinda waiting for Alex to jump in -- but yeah, I flagged it under 'other'. Flagging may contain the wrong vowel in all the circumstances.
posted by peacay at 11:29 AM on May 12, 2005


My dislike of how laws are being enacted these days clouded my judgement.
posted by quonsar at 11:33 AM on May 12, 2005


Quonsar, was that directed at me...?
I'm...I'm.... Flattered!
posted by Balisong at 11:35 AM on May 12, 2005


Info specific to this 14 mile stretch:
my excerpts, and my emphasis added, quoting from Refuge Along The Border
QUOTE
....
The Tijuana Estuary is a habitat under siege. It is hemmed in by a periodically polluted portion of the Pacific Ocean [and] four million-plus people .... bisected by the Tijuana River, ... the source of toxins, sewage, silt, tires, mattresses, and tons of other unwanted junk. ...The southern portion of the estuary is scarred by a crazy quilt of dirt roads used by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service ...
....
this ecosystem constitutes some of the highest-quality remaining salt marsh in southern California and is the first leg in a continuous succession of rare habitats running 14 miles from the beach east to Otay Mountain.

One can walk from the dunes, which contain colonies of endangered least terns and snowy plovers, through salt marsh hosting breeding populations of endangered light-footed clapper rails, along forested riparian habitat where endangered least Bells vireos nest, up into the maritime scrub that's home to the endangered California gnatcatcher, and on into the upland coastal sage scrub highland habitat where the state-listed savanna sparrow nests at Otay Mountain. Over all of it flies one of the most diverse arrays of raptors and other birds found anywhere in the United States. And unlike almost any other west-to-east running wetland-to-scrub corridor in southern California, the five miles of the Tijuana River Valley north of Mexico are not crossed by any major highways or train tracks.
...
"Even when you fly over Los Angeles at night, there are still fingers of darkness below you that represent undeveloped land," says Brian Collins, a U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist here. "Down here in San Diego there are almost none. We need to be very protective of what's left."

As southern California wetlands were shaved away by development over past decades, the patches that remained became islands of concentrated endangerment. In this tiny, 2,500-acre coastal preserve alone there are six federally listed threatened or endangered species. And despite the pressures from every direction, Collins and others are determined to defend what remains of this place, and even to restore some of its ecological integrity.

Officially known as the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (TRNERR), it is composed of land cooperatively managed by state and federal agencies. ....

By excavating a mudflat down to historic levels and connecting it with inlets to the tidal flows of the Pacific, environmental engineers have created a 20-acre living lab where they can study and encourage recolonization by marsh creatures and plants. The fruits of this research will be applied to a 500-acre restoration project known as Friendship Marsh, which estuary managers hope will become a major stopover point for waterfowl and other (non-human) migrants in decades to come.

Meanwhile, less than a mile south of the $3.1 million Model Marsh, the U.S. Border Patrol is considering filling in and paving over about ten acres of the remaining intact salt marsh.

.... In 1996, during the wave of anti-immigration sentiment that gripped border communities throughout the Southwest, Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. It was authored by San Diego Representative Duncan Hunter and mandates: "The U.S. Attorney General shall provide for the construction along the 14 miles of the international land border of the United States, starting at the Pacific Ocean and extending eastward, of second and third fences, in addition to the existing reinforced fence, and for roads between the fences."
...
... whatever the final road design, it will either cut through the marsh or coastal scrub habitat and will likely require filling in Smuggler's Gulch, the deep valley where a tributary of the Tijuana River crosses the border into the preserve. In addition to the acres of marsh lost to the road outright, and the inevitable alteration of the area's hydrology, the new border fences will also create an even more formidable north-south barrier to crossings by wild animals, who do not recognize either nation's flag.
END
posted by hank at 11:37 AM on May 12, 2005


Balisong, perhaps the problem isn't playing by the rules, but rather standing on the sidelines complaining about how the GOP plays. The Democrats don't do anything anymore except act in a reactionary manner to what the GOP does.

This Social Security debate where the Dems are refusing to play the GOP's game is a start. Maybe this whole judicial battle is going to be a turning point. One can hope anyway.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:37 AM on May 12, 2005


Quonsar, was that directed at me...?

no, silly. hover dude, hover!
posted by quonsar at 11:40 AM on May 12, 2005


Comparison I find interesting:

In the US:
- both houses of Congress & President all controlled by a majority. Governing party free to push through whatever legislation it wants, in very short order.

In Canada:
- One house of Parliament is immobilized because the 'governing' party has a minorty of seats and can't control the agenda in the Commons and can't get anything at all done.

I'd say both situations are bad for the citizens. In one, there is no balance to the power of the ruling party so (for the time being) they can do whatever they want. In the other, nothing is gettig done at all.
posted by raedyn at 11:41 AM on May 12, 2005


I'm starting to feel less and less outrage when the GOP passes totally idiotic legislation.

It passed 100-0.
posted by delmoi at 11:41 AM on May 12, 2005


Wow. I think I just read an AlexReynolds comment where he admits to a mistake instead of becoming angrily defensive. Not only that, but he admits to an mistake that was pointed out by his sworn archnemesis dios.

I must be delusional. I'm checking myself into a sanatorium.

But, just in case I'm not: kudos to Alex for taking it in stride.
posted by casu marzu at 11:43 AM on May 12, 2005


Thanks pardonyou? It took a little digging, and the help of a very nice person at the LOC, but I finally found out who those six Congresspeople were... all Democrats: Robert Byrd, Carl Levin, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Mark Hatfield, David Skaggs, Henry Waxman

I was way wrong. Apologies.
posted by terrapin at 11:45 AM on May 12, 2005


It passed 100-0.
posted by delmoi at 11:41 AM PST on May 12


Hahah. Priceless.

And here I was starting believe Alex that this was the worstest, most evilest thing since... since... well whatever the "outrage" du jour was yesterday.
posted by dios at 11:46 AM on May 12, 2005


hey, dios, what color is Negroponte?
posted by terrapin at 11:48 AM on May 12, 2005


I don't know, but he sure sounds black to me!

Heh.

/me high-fives terrapin
posted by dios at 11:50 AM on May 12, 2005


It passed 100-0.

OK, Fair enough. But it won't be used against the GOP or it's ilk untill it's too late for them to change the rules back.
So we're sliding into a totalitarian state.. so what. that's fine.
All 100 of them will probably live to see this used against them. Then the whining will rise from the bottom (us) to the top (them), and all we will be able to do is laugh like hyenas as we watch this freedom loving country slide further into the muck.
posted by Balisong at 11:51 AM on May 12, 2005


It passed 100-0.

It's a rider on a military spending bill.
posted by jperkins at 11:58 AM on May 12, 2005


Well, I'm glad I moved to a free country last year.
posted by clevershark at 12:10 PM on May 12, 2005


No court shall have jurisdiction to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security, or order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision

It sounds to like this is an attempt to remove from federal courts the ability to hear a takings claim, based in the fifth amendment, for the limited issue of land seized near the border for the purposes of the act. A takings action is one in which somebody whose land or property has been taken by the government brings suit, not to stop the action (assuming it has been done with proper authority), but instead to recieve fair and just compensation for their loss. This would occur after the property has been siezed pursuant to "emminent domain" or in the context of a regulatory taking.

Though Congress has the power to limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts, my first impression is that this legislation would be unconsitutional, but I would need to do further research before signing my name to anything.
posted by slm303 at 12:10 PM on May 12, 2005


The land already belongs to the Feds, this is a bypass of environmental regs on federal construction projects.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:14 PM on May 12, 2005


The No Judicial Review bit still gives me the willies. Sure, it gives a context of barriers and roads. And surely our leaders would never stretch definitions for convenience.... would they?
posted by weston at 12:27 PM on May 12, 2005


weston, et al., the No Judicial Review bit didn't make it into the final legislation. Rather, the final language gives U.S. District Courts exclusive jurisdiction:
The district courts of the United States shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear all causes or claims arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1).
Maybe that's still bad, though.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:47 PM on May 12, 2005


Maybe they are sane, measured and fair-minded enough to acknowledge that the RealID histrionics are much ado about nothing....
posted by dios at 9:25 AM PST on May 12 [!]


And like so many other ideas no one is asking how this is going to be paid for.

But when mommy and daddy pays your bills, what does fiscal responsibility matter?
posted by rough ashlar at 12:56 PM on May 12, 2005


in fact, it is NOT a big deal.
posted by dios at 9:43 AM PST on May 12 [!]


So YOU are paying for this out of your own pocket Dios?

Well, that makes it all ok.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:58 PM on May 12, 2005


It passed 100-0.
posted by delmoi at 11:41 AM PST on May 12
Hahah. Priceless.
posted by dios at 11:46 AM PST on May 12 [!]


Gee Dios. When attached to a Iraq Military spending bill, are you claiming that someone should have voted to not fund the troops?

Is funding the military what makes it "Hahaha, Priceless."?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:04 PM on May 12, 2005


OK, Fair enough. But it won't be used against the GOP or it's ilk untill it's too late for them to change the rules back.
So we're sliding into a totalitarian state.. so what. that's fine.
All 100 of them will probably live to see this used against them. Then the whining will rise from the bottom (us) to the top (them), and all we will be able to do is laugh like hyenas as we watch this freedom loving country slide further into the muck.

Balisong

I think you need to take a look again at what's been said in this thread. "sliding into a totalitarian state"? What? "All 100 of them will probably live to see this used against them." Used against them? How? To build fences around their houses?

On preview:
So YOU are paying for this out of your own pocket Dios?

Well, that makes it all ok.

rough ashlar
You're completely missing the point. He was saying it's not a big deal, in that it is not opening the doors to a fascist dictatorship run by Homeland Security as the FPP seemed to imply. The issue of cost really hasn't been discussed in this thread, and is a separate issue entirely.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:06 PM on May 12, 2005


You're completely missing the point.

So now 'we' should discuss laws w/o discussing the cost in dollars?

Bah. A bad law is a bad law, funding the bad law should not be handwaved away.


"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes...known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

- James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

Look at history - how many countries have went bankrupt 'funding a war' - and ask yourself - "How Close it America to bankruptcy"?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:18 PM on May 12, 2005


How many here think that passing this law without discussion of where the funding will come from will slow this down even a little bit?
It's not like this is No Child Left Behind legislation, or anything.

Wouldn't it be wierd if congress decides to pass this law, then shelves it because it can't be funded.
posted by Balisong at 1:20 PM on May 12, 2005


Give it a break, rough ashlar. I made no comment on the propriety, efficiency, or wisdom of such a bill. All I said is that it is not such an important piece of legislation that it must generate outrage over its obvious totalitarian destruction of everything hold dear. In other words, I was saying it isn't worth manufacturing hysteria over as jackasses like Alex (and I guess YOU) are wont to do.
posted by dios at 1:28 PM on May 12, 2005


And where are our so-called liberal media outlets to report on this amazing and unprecedented transfer of power?

Because it's a non-story, dude. That's why "helicopters" were not "deployed".
posted by TreeHugger at 1:30 PM on May 12, 2005


All I said is that it is not such an important piece of legislation that it must generate outrage over its obvious totalitarian destruction of everything hold dear.

Do you suppose that the transition from republic to dictatorship takes place in tiny, gradual steps that erodes just a little bit more personal liberty or do you suppose that it would come in the form of a bill whose language includes, "Hey dios! This is the one, baby! Take to the fucking streets!"
posted by jperkins at 1:51 PM on May 12, 2005


Given that Alex already offered a mea culpa, dios, your last comment (calling him a "jackass") is rather out of line.
posted by casu marzu at 1:56 PM on May 12, 2005


casu, good point. Had it been anyone else, I wouldn't have said that and would have believed the "mea culpa." But considering the source, it was a begrudged confession--had no one called him on it, it would have been hysterics as usual.
posted by dios at 2:11 PM on May 12, 2005


But considering the source, it was a begrudged confession--had no one called him on it, it would have been hysterics as usual.

You're an asshole, Tex.
posted by jperkins at 2:17 PM on May 12, 2005


hover dude, hover!

Is this the View Source quonsar or the Ladies Room quonsar speaking ?
posted by y2karl at 2:19 PM on May 12, 2005


All I said is that it is not such an important piece of legislation that it must generate outrage

That is the attitude of the 'Borrow and Spend' Republicrats.

Good thing YOU are OK with spending other peoples money. What's your percentage?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:38 PM on May 12, 2005


casu, good point.

Funny, you missed my point. Alex didn't go into hysterics. He said he made a mistake.

It's bad enough that most participants in these debates never offer an apology for ad hominem, strawmen, logical fallacies, hysteria, and other behaviors that corrode good will. It's even worse when apologies aren't accepted in good faith. In fact, I'd daresay that the latter is a contributor to the former.
posted by casu marzu at 2:43 PM on May 12, 2005


Good thing YOU are OK with spending other peoples money.

WTF? This thread is about a piece of legislation that AR claimed would be the end of all judicial process in the US and would in one step move us into "Godwinville". Several people called him out on being mis-informed. He very rationally accepted his error and moved on with his life. I comend him for that acceptance.

The key to the callouts inside this post were that everybody (including AR himself) realized that the law didn't actually say what the FPP said.

Now, there are reasons to disagree with allowing the Department of Homeland Security override EPA legislation on a 14-mile strip of San Diego beach, but what does that have to do with what you're saying? I'm so confused.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 2:46 PM on May 12, 2005


I live in san diego, and we've been hearing about them building this wall on the border since the early 1990's. Construction was halted due to environmental concerns and has been locked in litigation since. This clause was thrown in order for the wall to actually get out of gridlock and get built. Although i don't agree with the decision, i don't think the consequences are absolutely chilling as described. It's more of a "lets get this thing built", rather than a "lets covertly steal powers from the people".

"he can build walls 20 feet high on every inch of our border, and nobody can stop him!". i think not. 15 feet at the most.

news story about wall
environmental concerns
posted by escher at 3:05 PM on May 12, 2005


"...it is not such an important piece of legislation that it must generate outrage over its obvious totalitarian destruction of everything hold dear."

As a general statement: Hell is in the details. There won't be a piece of legislation "HB-101 'Take all civil rights away'" it's this bit by bit stuff over the years.
There are laws on the books that should be repealed now. Why are we packing on more and more?
Reminds me of that 'everything that isn't compulsory is forbidden' future. Just bit by bit. Let us pass one more law. Limit one more thing. Just a little more power. Etc.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:19 PM on May 12, 2005


I gotta say, I don't agree with dios often, but he's right in this case. Hysterical outrage is precisely what we need to stop doing with every step this administration takes.

For instance: what if this bill and its rider were bait? What if the republicans wanted the media to make a huge fuss over this, possibly have popular opinion influence the courts to adopt their "activist judges" stance that has all the more ignorant portions of the country calling for a ban on the filibuster? All that over something this small, something the republicans would no doubt have had no problem giving up in order to win that extra step in the battle for the supreme court?
posted by shmegegge at 4:32 PM on May 12, 2005


WTF? This thread is about a piece of legislation that AR claimed would be the end of all judicial process in the US and would in one step move us into "Godwinville"

Dios is the one who claimed there was nothing to be excited over.

I correctly point out how this is yet another Republicrat "Borrow and Spend" move.

What's the matter? You making a profit from the "Borrow and Spend" attitude of the many ticks of Washington and therefore have your hackels up?

Guess moving the US Dollar's backing of the 'full faith and credit of the United States' closer to a 'junk' bond rating doesn't bother you.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:37 PM on May 12, 2005


I correctly [sic] point out how this is yet another Republicrat "Borrow and Spend" move.

Your inablility to correctly name one of two US political parties without snarking pretty much destroys any credibility. But, even moving past that...

What part of the bill are you referrring to? The FPP was about the part of the judicial review part. You seem to be concerned with the Real ID bill as a whole by claiming that it will increase costs to the US federal government (that's what I can gather from your commentary about the US dollar). The catch is that one of the big CRITICISMS of the RealID legislation is that the cost is imposed on the state, not the federal government. So, the federal government isn't spending a DIME on RealID. It's up to the states to come up with the money to implement RealID.

So, what exactly are you referring to with the "junk bond rating" here? States don't issue their own currency anymore, nor is the Federal government on the hook for state debts.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 4:53 PM on May 12, 2005


In other words, this is an "unfunded mandate", not a "tax and spend" move. Doesn't make it better, but at least get your criticisms right. The STATES bear the cost, not the federal government. There is no impact on the dollar.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 4:59 PM on May 12, 2005


the federal government isn't spending a DIME on RealID. It's up to the states

You act like the money does not come from taxpayers. Are you confused on the idea of taxpayers? Or yet another enlargement of government? If you are profiting by such, well it's understandable how you want to line your own pocket with yet another 'mandated' program.

Oh, and if the goal is 'to have credibility' in your eyes.....*yawn* when you can not figure out that increased government spending ends up having a negative effect on the Dollar's health - my ability to educate you is beyond the time I wish to spend un-paid.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:01 PM on May 12, 2005


my ability to educate you is beyond the time I wish to spend un-paid.

Oh, your snark cuts me to bone. Cut it.

when you can not figure out that increased government spending ends up having a negative effect on the Dollar's health

Did you spend the 30 seconds to read the difference between the FEDERAL government and the STATE government? Incidentally, the "Dollar" is not a person, so it's lowercase. ("dollar").

I don't know if you're from the US or not, but here we have something called a "federal" system. The US national government prints the currency, is run by George W. Bush and the Congress, is based in Washington, DC. The powers of this central government are measured by the US Constitution.

Each state also has its own government. It's generally run by a governor, has a state capital, a state legislature, and so forth. Each state also has its own state constitution. Incidentally, most states have balanced budget provisions as part of their state constitution.

Each state has its OWN budget, its OWN debts, and does NOT print its own currency. No matter how deep in debt a STATE gets there will never be an impact on the dollar as the federal government is not on the hook to pay those debts. The state has private creditors and can default on those debts without affecting the US federal debt. States collect their own taxes (often property, income, and sales).

The RealID measure will be paid for by the STATES. That means there is NO WAY it can affect the health of the federal budget or the federal defecit. Any expenditure by a state cannot

There are plenty of problems with unfunded mandates. An impact on the health of the federal debt is not one.

Do you disagree with any of the above? If so, what part? "I'm too tired to deal with the truth" is not an adequate response. Are you from the US? If not I suggest you become more familiar with the workings of the US system before you leap to more conclusions.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 6:34 PM on May 12, 2005


in situ.
posted by dorian at 7:10 PM on May 12, 2005


Watching you americans go at each others' throats like this while your country burns down to the foundations is just fantastic, like rubbernecking at a horrific traffic accident. I just can't look away.
posted by nightchrome at 7:13 PM on May 12, 2005


That means there is NO WAY it can affect the health of the federal budget or the federal deficit

SEC. 203. LINKING OF DATABASES.

(a) In General- To be eligible to receive any grant or other type of financial assistance made available under this title,

Hrmmmm.....where do the 'grants' come from? Tax payers pockets in the states and ex-pats that then comes back to the states.

(b) Compliance With Standards- All authority to certify compliance with standards under this title shall be carried out by the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the States.

Hmmmmmm. NO WAY the feds pay for the compliance eh? Looks like the Federal boondoggle is gonna need to pay for the compliance people somehow.

SEC. 301. VULNERABILITY AND THREAT ASSESSMENT.

(a) Study- The Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security, in consultation with the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology and the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection, shall study the technology, equipment, and personnel needed to address security vulnerabilities within the United States for each field office of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection that has responsibility for any portion of the United States borders with Canada and Mexico. The Under Secretary shall conduct follow-up studies at least once every 5 years.

Ooooops. More federal money. Cuz someone has to pay for that.....doesn't look like the states.

I could go on, but why? not like you will admit that your position is that of the 'many ticks' doing the sucking and not of We the People who are getting sucked.

If you believe that citizens can only be taxed so much - there is only so much money which can be taken from the wallet of the citizens before the systems collapses, yet another mandated government program will add to the load. Eventually, the system will crush the taxpayer, and with a crushed economic system the American Dollar will suffer a failure "In the full faith and trust of the United States".
posted by rough ashlar at 7:15 PM on May 12, 2005


Watching you americans go at each others' throats like this while your country burns down to the foundations is just fantastic, like rubbernecking at a horrific traffic accident. I just can't look away.
posted by nightchrome at 7:13 PM PST on May 12 [!]


You think its good now? Whooo ho! Just wait till gas per gallon breaks the minimum wage per hour mark. You'll be able to watch 'the poor' go after 'the rich'. Populist politics that will make the present Republicrat and Demopublican tit-for-tat look like pages outta Ms. Manners.

Throw in the trillions of US dollar bonds rushing back to the country - the fire sale will be fun to watch .... from the outside. The US of A will be trying to sell off anything they can just to get more oil.
"nationalization, world politics and growing competition have conspired to freeze the top five U.S. oil companies out of 97% of the future potential oil market, and they are producing their current fields at rates that will be sustainable for only a very short period of time. In essence, they are fighting over table scraps. "

Oh, it won't be fun for anyone outside the borders of the US of A, but the outsiders (save Canada and Mexico) will be in less of a world of hurt then the Americans inside.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:26 PM on May 12, 2005


Hrmmmm.....where do the 'grants' come from?

The law authorizes the federal government to give money to the states, it does not require it at any point. Any grants would have to be in a separate appropriations measure. This does not require any federal spending, it makes it possible.

And "follow-up studies at least once every 5 years" is not exactly a budget-breaker. I'm sorry, one study every 5 years is just not the sort of thing that will put Congress out of business.

If you don't believe me then listen to some others:
It's an unfunded mandate: the federal government is forcing the states to spend their own money to comply with the act

would impose significant new unfunded mandates on State governments.

RealID as written is another unfunded mandate to the states

it’s a huge, burdensome, unfunded mandate on the 50 states, most of whom are broke.

It's unfunded. The states are supposed to work out for themselves how to comply with these regulations with NO federal funding
The point is that your criticism is exactly backwards. This bill screws the states over by forcing them to spend money on what is essentially a federal program. Criticising it as an unfunded mandate makes a lot of sense - why should California have to pay for this? But saying that it's a drain on the federal budget (to the point of jeapordising the health of the t-bill) betrays a vast ignorance of both fact and economics.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 7:37 PM on May 12, 2005


But saying that it's a drain on the federal budget (to the point of jeapordising the health of the t-bill) betrays a vast ignorance of both fact and economics.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 7:37 PM PST on May 12 [!]


I've repeated over and over the view that taxpayers can only be taxed so much before the system collapes. Doesn't matter if it is a state, local or federal body doing the taxing.

But hey, if you wanna hold onto the illusion RealID's unfunded status has no effect, you go right ahead. And as your tax bill increases you just keep thinking that a 'realID' will make your life 'safer' from "the bad people"
posted by rough ashlar at 7:47 PM on May 12, 2005


Oh Man!! I can't wait until the politico-class-petrol wars!
Does anyone know if the RealID has your religous/political/class status on the front, or will I have to invest in a magnetic strip reader?
posted by Balisong at 7:58 PM on May 12, 2005


RealID has your religous/political/class status on the front,

The poor won't have a reason to have the cards. How are they gonna get to the bread lines and bring home the bread w/o their car? With the 'new' driver licence 'fees' (to avoid a tax increase) and expensive gas, what is the point in a car?

If they are poor enough, they'll be over in http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/41959 as part of their joining the military for the 3 squares a day fed to them by Haliburton. Or the poor will be in prison, training the guards who go to Abu Graib.


Besides, doesn't your present licence have your class in society already on the front in the form of your address?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:09 PM on May 12, 2005


But hey, if you wanna hold onto the illusion RealID's unfunded status has no effect

Wait, you now contend that the fact that the federal government is NOT paying for it will hurt the federal deficit? Two posts ago you said the government was paying too much. My head is spinning from trying to follow all your flip-flops in logic.

Now the fact that the government is NOT paying will make the government broke. Less is apparently more to you.

you just keep thinking that a 'realID' will make your life 'safer' from "the bad people"

Where have I ever said that the RealID bill was a good idea? I think it's a shitty idea, but that doesn't mean that I have to make up side-effects ("IT'S GONNA START A DEBT WAR!! OMFG!") to oppose it. I don't think it's a good idea, but saying that it's going to bring down the treasury is about as stupid of a complaint about it as I've ever heard. I'm not defending the bill, I'm defending the use of reason in attacking it. Your hysterics are exactly what this FPP was all about. We can agree that the bill is bad, but that's no reason to get hysterical and discredit yourself.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 8:12 PM on May 12, 2005


If they are poor enough, they'll be over in http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/41959 as part of their joining the military for the 3 squares a day fed to them by Haliburton. Or the poor will be in prison, training the guards who go to Abu Graib.

I rest my case, you actually do my work for me. Come back when you're willing to live in a world of facts and reality rather than hyperbole and fantasy.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 8:14 PM on May 12, 2005


I rest my case, you actually do my work for me.

Considering your willingness to make up quotes, of course you think you are a winner. A real legend in your own mind you are.

training the guards who go to Abu Graib...... Come back when you're willing to live in a world of facts and reality rather than hyperbole and fantasy.

From:
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0506-07.htm
"WASHINGTON - Horrific abuses, some similar to those revealed in Iraq, regularly occur in U.S. prisons
For example, in September 1996, guards at the Brazoria County jail in Texas staged a drug raid on inmates that was videotaped for training purposes.

The tape showed several inmates forced to strip and lie on the ground. A police dog attacked several prisoners; the tape clearly showed one being bitten on the leg. Guards prodded prisoners with stun guns and forced them to crawl along the ground. Then they dragged injured inmates face down back to their cells.
Staff Sgt. Ivan "Chip" Frederick was a corrections officer at Buckingham Correctional Center in Virginia. In a statement published by the Richmond Times Dispatch on Thursday, Frederick compared his role at Abu Ghraib in Iraq with his job as a guard in Buckingham, where he said he had "very strict policies and procedures as to how to handle any given situation.""


Yup. Looks like the reality of 'how to be brutal' to human beings was taught to some of the staff at Abu Graieb in American Prisons.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:48 PM on May 12, 2005


Considering your willingness to make up quotes

What quote am I making up? I am quoting:

If they are poor enough, they'll be over in http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/41959 as part of their joining the military for the 3 squares a day fed to them by Haliburton. Or the poor will be in prison, training the guards who go to Abu Graib.

Besides, doesn't your present licence have your class in society already on the front in the form of your address?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:09 PM PST on May 12 [!]
How is that "making up a quote?" It's right there in the thread, scroll up. You posted it. Forget so soon?

And learn how to spell: Abu Ghraib. You've slaughtered it about three different ways.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:07 PM on May 12, 2005


Ok, I've looked at my driver's license (Washington). I renewed it two years ago. I think it already complies, down to the two bar codes on the back - machine readable.

How is this a financial burden on the states -- since many already comply?

Second question: Did the "no judicial review" part get struck from the bill as passed?

Third question: What's all the fuss about?

(maybe there's good grounds for fussing, but I don't see it. At least not enough to want to convince others to join the fuss...)
posted by warbaby at 9:40 PM on May 12, 2005


Second question: Did the "no judicial review" part get struck from the bill as passed?

Yes. The law as passed gives jurisdiction to the US District Courts. It takes it out of state courts, but you can still bring claims.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:43 PM on May 12, 2005


How is this a financial burden on the states -- since many already comply?posted by warbaby at 9:40 PM PST on May 12 [!]

Right now Washington's database doesn't have to play with some FedDataBase and with State[0-1][0-9]Database. Staff to make sure interoperation can happen, liasons to the Feds, the lawyers to read the new rules.

Consider the millions spent on FedComputerSystemOfChoice that gets junked when it doesn't work. I'm sure if one digs, one can find equally screwed State systems.


Now, think about protecting all that juicy CreditTheft RealID info....just waiting to be plucked by someone who pays a local government clerk or security person There is an 'externalized cost', unless you believe all the people who come into contact with this data can handle it in a secure manner. It seems the best way to avoid CreditTheft is to make your credit worthless, so no one can pretend to be you and to not have any bank accounts. But having non-credit makes you a non-person as far commerce goes, and who's willing to sign up for that?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:06 PM on May 12, 2005


Don't worry..
You'll have to get a new card. And pay for it.
It'll mean a new trip for EVERYONE to stand in the line at the DMV (if we are lucky) or to the County Courthouse (In which case they will buy duplicate equiptment to those already at the DMV) and everyone will get a brand new card. with a magnetic stripe (or microchip) that will record your information.
Your state issued driver's licence with a bar code is too ancient for this system.
posted by Balisong at 10:27 PM on May 12, 2005


Your state issued driver's licence with a bar code is too ancient for this system.

Which is a good thing, because hacking smartchips is a lot harder than hacking mag stripes.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:35 AM on May 18, 2005


« Older What...  |  Internet Movie Script Database... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments