Friday, September 05, 2014

Arizona Stupidity

The State of Arizona has really ticked me off. My children were issued drivers licenses by the State of Texas while they were younger than 21. The State of Texas issued licenses which were valid for six years and chose to issue them formatted vertically instead of horizontally. As these licenses do not expire upon or immediately after the driver turns 21, they are accepted as a valid driver's license and state issued identification card by the Transportation Safety Administration, airlines, car rental agencies and so forth in every state we have traveled in. According to Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, this is how it should be:

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records and Judicial Proceedings of every other State; ...
This is why birth certificates, death certificates, auto registrations, driver's licenses and so forth, issued by one state, are accepted by all other states.

On this last trip, while traveling through Arizona, we were informed in several places that due to a recently passed state law, my children's driver's licenses could not be accepted. Since it was longer than one month after their 21st birthday, the State of Arizona would not, and businesses in the State cf Arizona could not, accept their driver's licenses as valid simply because they were formatted vertically instead of horizontally. I see this as an egregious violation of their Constitutional rights!

What gives the State of Arizona the right to declare another state's valid documents invalid for any reason? Can you imagine flying to another state for business or vacation and trying to rent a car only to be told that the state you landed in does not consider your birth certificate or driver's license valid because of its format? What if, to commemorate the one hundred and twentieth anniversary of joining the Union, the State of Utah chose to issue driver's licenses in the shape of Utah?

How does the State of Arizona get away with this crap? This law is aimed solely at young people. They are so used to having their rights stompped on by different levels of government, they just do not know any better. In high school history class, they never read or studied the text of key American documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the first ten amendments, called the Bill of Rights. How many of them understand that the "Miranda Warning" they hear on the TV crime dramas are based on Ammendment VI to the Constitution? The lofty words of the Constitution are just not relevant to their lives. Ask a high school student or recent graduate what Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Religion or Freedom of the Press means and most often, you will be greeted by a blank stare.

I hope a good test case arises and the the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has the guts to help the victim take the State of Arizona to Court.

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