6/8/12, "Eric Holder unaware that court visitors must show ID," Politico, Josh Gerstein
"Due to a recent work assignment, I had the opportunity to enter a federal courthouse about 200 times in the past six weeks or so. Each and every time, I was asked for a photo ID, which the court security officer looked at and then allowed me to put away in my wallet.
This procedure, which takes place tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of times each day in federal courthouses across the country, is apparently entirely unknown to the nation's top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric Holder.
At a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing Thursday, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) asked Holder about the practice, which has been standard procedure at most, if not all, federal courthouses for the last decade or so.
"If I were to go to the federal courthouse here in D.C., either as a party or as an attorney, wouldn’t I have to show a government-issued photo ID?" Lungren asked.
"That’s not been my experience, here in DC. I don’t--you know," Holder replied.
"Some federal courts—are you aware that’s required in some federal courts in this land?" Lungren said.
"I don’t know," Holder replied.
"Is your Justice Department investigating the discriminatory effect of those laws?" Lungren asked, after citing other places where one is told to show ID, like the airport and even when visiting the Justice Department itself.
Lungren's point was to attack the Justice Department's actions to block voter ID laws that critics say burden the rights of minorities by preventing or discouraging them from casting ballots.
Holder said Lungren's comparison was off the mark, because the right to vote is the "most fundamental constitutional right."
"Through the vote, I can change the government," Holder noted.
The attorney general also insisted that visitors do not need photo ID to enter Justice Department headquarters. (You'll certainly be asked for it. Trust me.)
"That's not true in the government. That's not true with the Justice Department," Holder told Lungren. "if you were to show up at the Justice Department somebody could vouch for you and you could come in to the department and we could have a very civil, I'm sure, conversation."
"Is that right? I havent tried that with TSA. That doesn't work very well," Lungren shot back.
Lungren evinced no actual concern about people having to show ID at federal courthouses, or anywhere else for that matter. However, some people have brought legal challenges to the practice of demanding IDs at the courthouse door....
Lungren, a former California attorney general, also seemed a bit naive to think that members of the public could get into Justice Department headquarters without an appointment in order to "redress [their] greivances." Those two guards at the anti-terrorism planters in front of the building would bring such a visit to a very quick conclusion.
Despite the security imperative to check the ID of every visitor to federal courts across the country, one very prominent court in the United States that gets a large volume of visitors does not require any ID to enter: the U.S. Supreme Court."...
Ed. note: It seems Rep. Lundgren scattered a few points and moved on. This is the most Republicans ever do. When Holder said voting is different because you can change government, wouldn't the obvious point be that this enormity is just what makes a picture ID that much more important for voting in an open borders country? Delegates to the Massachusetts State Democrat Convention need photo ID. Labor unions require picture ID's in their voting for their governance changes (photo below from Dec. 2011). It's just interesting that Holder is so uninformed.
12/12/11, "Union Election Requires Photo ID; Politico Fails to Note Irony," NewsBusters, Tom Blumer. (Above photo from vote by International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM))