Florida’s Libertarian governor candidate fights state’s ‘Real ID’ law, awaits trial
The Libertarian running for Florida governor told Guns & Patriots that a state law which requires citizens to produce facial recognition captures and personal effects without cause violates state and federal statutes.
“We should never have to surrender a right to gain a privilege,” said Adrian Wyllie, Libertarian candidate for Florida governor. “Authorities now have the ability to track us; know exactly who we are, where we are going, where we have been, and they maintain all of this information unlawfully.”
Wyllie said the 2005 Real ID Act, a federal law, that was implemented in the state of Florida on Jan. 1, 2010 violates the Fourth Amendment because it permits unreasonable and unwarranted searches of all citizens who either want to apply for a driver’s license or renew it.
Wyllie surrendered his Florida driver’s license in a public fashion in May 2011 hoping to challenge the constitutionality of the law in criminal court. Wyllie said he was pleased to be arrested and charged with driving without a license earlier this month and is looking forward to pursing this matter further.
“Now I have the opportunity to challenge this law in a criminal court in front of a jury of my peers,” he said. “I really believe that once a jury of regular folks hears about Real ID and how law enforcement and the federal government is using this against the citizens of Florida, they will return a not guilty verdict on the basis that the law is unconstitutional.”
If Wyllie is successful in court, he said setting precedent would “open-the-door” to repealing Real ID mandates from the federal government.
According to Florida statute Article 1 Section 23 and the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.
The Real ID Act clearly violates these provisions, said Wyllie.
“Since Jan. 1 2010, anyone renewing or applying for a Florida driver’s license has to submit an array of documentation including an original birth certificate, social security card, proof of address, and in some cases bank statements,” he said. “For women, they have to submit certified copies of marriage licenses and divorce decrees for every time their name was changed.”
In addition, he said your photograph is no longer a photograph. “It is a digital facial image capture that maps the bio-metric markers of your face through facial recognition software.”
All of this personal and constitutionally-protected information is then uploaded into a national database that is administered by the Department of Homeland Security, said Wyllie. “The database called – The Facial Recognition Network – is being integrated with surveillance cameras throughout the state.”
Unlawfully and without cause, state and federal authorities will be able to use the facial recognition image on drivers’ licenses to identify us wherever we go by matching the image with surveillance cameras, he said.
The fight against Real ID is not about the validity of driver’s licenses in general, said the former Chairman of Florida’s Libertarian Party – the third largest political party in the state. “It is about being required to surrender our Fourth Amendment rights to obtain a privilege such as a driver’s license or an identification card.” In Bennett v. Boggs, for example, he said the Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot require us to surrender a right to obtain a privilege.
The 2005 federal law that mandates the states to require Real ID for its citizens stems from the 9/11 commission report that, in violation of the Tenth Amendment, recommends that the federal government institute standards for state drivers’ licenses, said Paul Henry, founder of Floridians Against Real ID.
Henry, who is retired Florida law enforcement with 25 years of experience, said Real ID not only violates the First, Fourth, Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments, but the outcome does not suit the intention of the law.
“After we were attacked by 19 Middle Eastern males who flew planes into buildings on Sept. 11, 2001, the 9/11 commission were commissioned to investigate and make recommendations that resulted in a bunch of written reports.”
It was determined that the culprits for this attack had obtained up to about 30 different identification documents in order to fly the planes, he said. “When I read those reports, I found that none of the identification documents had false names, but false addresses in different states.”
The concept that standardized Real ID could prevent another attack like the one on Sept. 11, 2001, is not true, he said. “The terrorists used their passports to get on the planes and this is still possible in 2014, despite the 2005 Real ID federal mandate.”
States have looked at the mandate and have refused to implement it, said the former police lieutenant.
For example, former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer opposed this law and banned Real ID legislation from the state, citing privacy violations and the Tenth Amendment, said Henry.
The Tenth Amendment says: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
In addition to constitutional violations, passage of Real ID in Florida, has cost the tax papers an untold amount of money, he said.
“Here in Florida from 2008 to 2010, the legislature spent a little over $10 million on Real ID,” he said. “The federal reimbursement was about $7 million costing the tax payers of Florida about $3 million, but that does not include the 50-year old lady in Tampa who has been divorced twice and will need a name change certification from each state she was married and divorced, costing the tax payers even more.”
Since Jan. 1, 2010 the state of Florida, without cause, requires production of personal papers and a digital facial capture for all its drivers, he said. “Even though there is no cause to believe you are someone else.”
The distinction between a photograph and a digital facial capture is that a photograph can be used to identify a person the government has cause to be in contact with, whereas a digital facial capture uploaded to a national database, can easily and surreptitiously exploited by government officials, said Henry. “Once we start facial recognition captures, authorities are no longer dealing with people who have a cause to be dealt with, they are dealing everyone.”
Since 2001 there has been a knee-jerk reaction that says the government has to “keep us safe” however any security that is provided by the state should not violate our rights, said the Liberty First Network member. LFN is a Florida non-profit organization that exists to educate citizens about liberty, and to advocate for the restoration of liberty in the Florida legislature and elsewhere.
Henry said when the idea of a federal standardized identification for Americans was contemplated in 1991, then President Ronald W. Reagan’s reaction was this: “By God that is the mark of the beast.”