In the aftermath of a riot on Capitol Hill earlier this year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) instituted new safety measures including a requirement that members of Congress pass through metal detectors before entering the House floor.
This has resulted in fines being levied against multiple GOP lawmakers who have refused to comply with her rule — and now two of them are responding by taking her to court.
“May punish its members for disorderly behavior”
According to the Washington Examiner, U.S. Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Andrew Clyde (R-GA) have filed suit in Washington, D.C.
The congressmen are being represented by one-time Republican Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who also served in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under the Trump administration.
As the pair argue in their lawsuit, the metal detector rule violates the 27th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits limiting the pay that a member of Congress receives before voters have a chance to cast their ballots.
“No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened,” the amendment declares.
Furthermore, Gohmert and Clyde argue that Pelosi’s requirement runs contrary to Article I, Section 5 and its provision that Congress “may punish its members for disorderly behavior.”
“A failure of logic built upon a foundation of Democrat lies”
Their lawsuit also points to the following section, which reads: “[Representatives] shall in all cases, except treason felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance in their respective Houses and in going to and returning from the same.”
Clyde weighed in with a statement on Monday with his belief that “the intent of the speaker is to gain improper influence over the actions of the minority Republican Party and to further speaker Pelosi’s false political narrative.”
The Georgia Republican went on to describe Pelosi’s rule as “a failure of logic built upon a foundation of Democrat lies that say Republican members and their voters are dangerous domestic terrorists.”
With a reference to a security report by acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, Clyde asserted that “there existed no known intelligence from any source that any member of Congress was a threat to any other member, thereby revealing that the use of magnetometers as a condition of access to the House floor was purely political grandstanding by the speaker and a clear violation of the constitution.”
The two lawmakers alleged that other GOP lawmakers missed votes because they were held up at metal detectors even as Democrats were waved through the security checkpoint.