Jindal Vetoes His Vote


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As a freshman congressman three years ago, Bobby Jindal voted in favor of the Real ID Act. Riding a wave of paranoia and grief created by terrorist attacks on home soil, federal lawmakers handed down new state requirements for identification cards. The intent was to create a single, universal card stocked with private and personal information that citizens would be required to use to board airplanes or enter sensitive sites, even to drive a vehicle. As a new Republican governor, Jindal signed legislation into law earlier this month that prohibits Louisiana from participating in the very same Real ID Act he voted for as a congressman.

It’s unarguably a flip-flop, albeit a policy twist that Jindal is more than happy to make. Since Congress passed the act in 2005, the unfunded mandate has grown into a $14 billion initiative to make driver’s licenses more secure and to collect personal data. Over time, the nation’s governors felt burned by the price tag and directives, but they didn’t put up with the pain for long. In June, following the action of other states, Arizona turned its back on the act. When Louisiana did the same last week, it became the 11th state to join the pushback. Another six states have passed nonbinding resolutions. Now, privacy advocates are cheering for Jindal, with liberals and conservatives coming to the table in unison. “The ACLU of Louisiana commends both Gov. Jindal and the Legislature for standing up to the Bush administration in a nationwide movement against Real ID,” Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, said in a press release. — Jeremy Alford


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