Apr 11 2011

California bill would condition the right to travel on … draft registration?

A bizarre bill currently pending in the California Senate, S.B. 251, introduced Feb. 10, 2011, by Senator Lou Correa of Orange County, would require all applicants for California drivers’ licenses to consent to having the information they provide to the state Department of Motor Vehicles forwarded to the U.S. Selective Service System and used to register them for a possible military draft.

Whatever one may think of Selective Service, the draft, draft registration, or the wars for which they might be used, this bill reflects a disturbing failure by its sponsors to recognize that travel, within and between states as well as internationally, is a right — subject only to the most limited and essential administrative restrictions — and not a privilege that can at the government’s whim, to serve unrelated purposes, be granted, denied, encumbered, or conditioned on the waiver of other rights.

In our letter to the California Senate’ Standing Committee on Transportation and Housing, which will hold a hearing on S.B. 251 tomorrow where we plan to testify, we outlined our objections as follows:

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