A bill was passed with overwhelming support by the US Congress allowing homes to be searched without any warrant.
When this warrant was passed by Congress, little was said about it and there was little to no media coverage. On the surface this new bill looks like no big deal, but when you look a little deeper, it violates the basic tenets of the United States Constitution.
It gives the Commission the power to enter a home near the Metro Rail System “without limitation” or a warrant, for the purpose of “making inspections, investigations, examinations, and testing.”
This goes against the Fourth Amendment, which give Americans’ the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.”
Rep. Justin Amash is raising questions about a bill that passed through Congress without any fanfare and virtually without any press.
Only 5 of us voted against bill allowing govt to enter/search private property in parts of VA, MD & DC w/o warrant. https://t.co/SVhTWqbPaB
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) July 18, 2017
From Zero Hedge:
On the surface, House Joint Resolution 76 looks harmless. The title of the bill claims that its purpose is “Granting the consent and approval of Congress for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia to enter into a compact relating to the establishment of the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission.”
“Whereas the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, an interstate compact agency of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the State of Maryland, provides transportation services to millions of people each year, the safety of whom is paramount; Whereas an effective and safe Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority system is essential to the commerce and prosperity of the National Capital region; Whereas the Tri-State Oversight Committee, created by a memorandum of understanding amongst these 3 jurisdictions, has provided safety oversight of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.”
But then comes this part.
“In performing its duties, the Commission, through its Board or designated employees or agents, may: Enter upon the WMATA Rail System and, upon reasonable notice and a finding by the chief executive officer that a need exists, upon any lands, waters, and premises adjacent to the WMATA Rail System, including, without limitation, property owned or occupied by the federal government, for the purpose of making inspections, investigations, examinations, and testing as the Commission may deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this MSC Compact, and such entry shall not be deemed a trespass.”
So they can go into any property nearby the system “without limitation” and without a warrant, for the purpose of “making inspections, investigations, examinations, and testing.”
Someone dropped the ball on the wording of this one, because that definitely sounds like a Fourth Amendment question.
Hence the reason why Amash is having issues with it.
Here are the others who objected.
When the bill was brought to a vote in the House of Representatives, there were only five Congressmen who voted against it: Representatives Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan; Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina; Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky; Alex Mooney, a Republican from West Virginia; and Mark Sanford, a Republican from South Carolina.
The real question is why aren’t others questioning it?