Got your ID right here

While state legislators in Nevada have been reluctant to directly challenge the federal government’s requirement for a national identification card, other state legislatures are less timid.

Washington and Montana’s legislatures have enacted measures to forbid their state agencies from complying with the federal law, daring the Bush administration to do something about it. The Washington measure endorses actions by the state attorney general to fight the issue in court.

In signing the Montana measure, Gov. Brian Schweitzer issued a statement: “Montanans don’t want the federal agents listening to their phone conversations, rifling through their papers, checking on what books they read and monitoring where they go and when.”

The federal law mandates specific features in state driver licenses and identification cards, including machine readable technology and “defined data elements,” whatever that means.

Democrats in Congress say they were manipulated into voting for Real ID when Republicans two years ago attached the measure to a troop funding bill. But since taking the majority, Democrats have done nothing to repeal the measure.