Nov. 27, 2015
Charles Key’s Testimony on REAL ID
Former state representative, Charles Key who was the House author for the 2007 bill to prohibit our state from participating in REAL ID, was the third speaker at the public hearing on REAL ID held at the state capitol on Nov. 18, 2015. (Testimony from the first two speakers, Howard Houchen and Kaye Beach )
This was the second meeting held by Rep. Lewis Moore and Rep. Bob Cleveland seeking to find out more about the ramifications of implementing the federal REAL ID Act as is being proposed by some state legislators.
Charles Key begins by stating that he is here to “talk about States’ rights, and the responsibility of all state legislators to protect the citizens of Oklahoma from an overreaching federal government.”
He gives a little background on the 2007 legislation that prohibited REAL ID in Oklahoma noting that, “The legislation passed without one dissenting vote.”
The law prohibiting Oklahoma from participating in the federal REAL ID Act can be found in Title 47, Oklahoma Statute.
Key reads a portion of the statute:
“The Legislature finds that the enactment into law by the United States Congress of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, Public Law Number 109-13, is inimical to the security and well-being of the people of Oklahoma, will cause approximately Eight Million Dollars ($8,000,000.00) in added expense and inconvenience to our state, and was adopted by the United States Congress in violation of the principles of federalism contained in the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
He emphasizes that the statute says that REAL ID was adopted by Congress in violation of the principles of federalism. “Those words were true in 2007, and are true today,” Key reminds everyone.
Charles Key then provides some history of the REAL ID rebellion by the states:
“Over 600 groups representing the entire political spectrum opposed the Real ID Act 2005. …ACLU was one of the first organizations to oppose the Real ID Act. . . The ACLJ sent us a 120 page, scathing rebuke of the Real ID Act.”
Key points out, “It is not often that the ACLJ and the ACLU agree on anything,” and relates how these two organizations, traditionally viewed as polar opposites, stood side by side at the National Press Club in 2008 in opposition to REAL ID.
Charles Key was there and he says the words he spoke on that day in 2008 still hold true today: “The federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states, and we the states have not changed, or altered that relationship, but today the states are treated as agents of the federal government.”
Key urges Oklahoma lawmakers to take the lead once again.
“In 2007, Oklahoma led by being one of the first states to enact a law that says Oklahoma will not comply with the Real ID Act 2005. Today in 2015, we in Oklahoma must lead again by holding firm against Real ID.”
Key says that if the federal government wants a national ID then it should pass legislation to create one itself and quit trying to make the states do it for them. He asks that Oklahoma legislators introduce a resolution “that tells the federal government, if it wants a national biometric identification card, then Congress needs to introduce legislation”
“Oklahoma is being called to lead, and the best way to lead is to follow. Follow our oath of office and follow the constitution. Let us lead by passing this resolution. …Watch how many states will join us.”
Later in the meeting, Key spoke about the intentions of legislators in passing the bill banning REAL ID in our state and confronts the Department of Public Safety about their denial of his request for a non-biometric driver’s license. The exchanges between participants at this hearing were extremely interesting. I will be posting a transcript of all that was said in these exchanges after I finish with the speakers.
Next up is the Commissioner of Public Safety, Michael Thompson.