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Should You Have to Show a Photo I.D. to Get Into the SA Federal Courthouse?

Should You Have to Show a Photo I.D. to Get Into the SA Federal Courthouse?

  You have to show a photo i.d. if you want to vote in today's Texas primary election, but that's not the only government interaction that requires a photo i.d., something the Texas ACLU is considering fighting, 1200 WOAI news reports.

 

  You also have to show a government issued photo i.d. to get into the John H. Wood Federal Courthouse in San Antonio.  Kurt Schwartz, who heads the Texas chapter of the ACLU, says that's not right and not logical.

 

  "We are certainly concerned about the issue," he said.  "We are certainly going to take a close look at it.  There are a few cases out there where these restrictions have been upheld, but basically on security grounds, which I don't think apply at all."

 

  U.S. Marshals and Federal Protective Service officers at the courthouse will not allow people into the building unless they show a government-issued photo i.d.  Schwartz points out that the marshals don't run the license through any system, and they don't compare it to a list of known terrorists or criminals, they just look at it and hand it back.  He's not sure what information the marshals can get from a glance at the license that can improve security.

 

  "It's one thing to have the magnetometers and the wands and so forth that they use at the courthouses, that clearly has a connection to safety," he said.

 

  The ACLU says elections, and access to public federal buildings, should be as open to the public as possible, and he questions why individuals who don't possess a government issued photo i.d. should be denied the right to enter the San Antonio federal courthouse.

 

  Visitors to the Bexar County Courthouse have to go through metal detectors, but do not have to show any type of identification.

 

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