Two House Republicans on Monday filed a federal lawsuit against the House Sergeant-at-Arms and the House Executive Director for thousands of dollars in fines imposed for violations of the House’s metal detection rules.
GOP representatives Louie Gohmert of Texas and Andrew Clyde of Georgia filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Washington, DC through their attorney, Ken Cuccinelli, former attorney general of Virginia and head of the Trump administration.
The trial represents the most direct challenge to date in a package of security measures put in place by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders after the January 6 Capitol riots, when supporters of the President of the House The era Donald Trump stormed the building in an ultimately futile attempt to overturn the electoral count that handed the presidency over to Joe Biden.
GOHMERT LOSES APPEAL OF FINE FOR BYPASS CHAMBER METAL DETECTOR
In the lawsuit, Gohmert and Clyde argue that Sergeant-at-Arms William J. Walker and Executive Director Catherine Szpindor violated the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads: “No law modifying the remuneration for the services of Senators and Representatives will take effect until an election of representatives has been made.
Lawmakers argue that the imposition and collection of fines reduces a member’s salary while in office. They also argue that it violates a constitutional provision that lawmakers cannot be arrested in the line of duty in Congress.
Gohmert and Clyde quote Article I, Sections 5: “Every house… can punish its members for disorderly behavior. In addition, Article I, Section 6 states, “[Representatives] will be in all cases, with the exception of the crime of treason and violation of public order, the privilege of arrest during their presence in their respective Houses and on their way to and from them.
Additionally, Republican lawmakers noted several instances where GOP members missed votes due to being held up at metal detectors, as opposed to Democratic lawmakers who were allowed to walk on the floor to vote after triggering the polls. scanners without subsequent punishment.
Gohmert was fined $ 5,000 and Clyde was fined $ 15,000 by House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett last month for “failing to follow a security check” before d ‘enter the bedroom of the Chamber.
Both attempted to appeal the fines to the House Ethics Committee in March, but the majority of the committee “did not accept the appeal,” said President Ted Deutch, a Democrat from Florida, and Row member Jackie Walorski, a Republican from Indiana, in a statement. joint statement.
Gohmert alleged that he had already gone through scanners to enter the floor before later exiting the bedroom into the President’s Lobby, a hallway adjacent to the floor, to the restroom. He returned upstairs through the President’s lobby, where there were no metal detectors at the time.
“There was no notice of change in the requirement that once all requirements were met and the house floor entered, I should be tossed on my return from the toilet a few steps from the President’s lobby,” said Gohmert at Washington Examiner. “The point is, I did pass the metal detector.”
Gohmert was fined a day after the House voted to impose financial penalties on lawmakers who refused to comply with metal detector rules.
Republicans ranted Pelosi’s action, calling it “unconstitutional” and many simply circled the pressure gauges until the speaker ordered end tables next to the scanner to prevent lawmakers from avoid the security measure. The House then passed a new measure, pushed by the president, in early February to impose fines on lawmakers who refused to comply with security checks.
Six House lawmakers, five Republicans and one Democrat, have been fined for metal detectors since the rule was passed. Pelosi commissioned a security check overseen by Capitol Hill police officers at every entrance to the room.
Under the rule, members of the House are fined $ 5,000 for the first violation and $ 10,000 for any subsequent penalties.
Along with Gohmert and Clyde, other lawmakers previously fined by the metal detector rule are the representatives of the GOP. Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, Hal Rogers of Kentucky, as well as Rep. Jim Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina and House Majority Whip.
Unlike Clyde and Gohmert before them, Rogers and Clyburn successfully appealed their fines to the ethics committee last month, made up of five Republicans and five Democrats. Foxx and Smucker have yet to confirm that they will appeal their fines.
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A home security footage video of Pelosi walking upstairs to the house on February 4th, posted by Politics, prompted Republicans to accuse the speaker of bypassing metal detectors to the ground. A spokesperson for Pelosi denied the charge, saying she followed security protocols that day by an officer using a manual wand device.
Original location: House Republicans sue over fines for metal detectors