GOP Rep. Clyde Plans To Challenge House Metal Detector Fines In Federal Court

Written by Martin Walsh

OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion




For the second time in two weeks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been taken to court.

Georgia GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde is planning a legal challenge to the “unconstitutional” requirement that members pass through metal detectors in order to gain access to the House floor.

Pelosi imposed new rules after the Jan. 6 Capitol mayhem that required everyone to walk through a metal detector before entering the Capitol.

Clyde said on Monday that he will take his case against the measure to federal court following an announcement by the House Ethics Committee that it rejected Clyde’s appeal to avoid fines he incurred for refusing to pass through a metal detector on two occasions in February.

“I recently learned that the formal appeal of my fines incurred as a result of refusing to comply with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unconstitutional placement of metal detectors at the entrance to the floor of the House of Representatives was rejected,” Clyde said in a statement.

“This now provides the legal standing which I needed to challenge this unconstitutional resolution,” Clyde added.

Clyde was fined twice under H.R. 73 after failing to comply, which he said he did deliberately with the intention of turning the requirement into a legal challenge.

“I did that so we would have legal standing to take the case to federal court, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” Clyde told Fox News in March.

Clyde appealed the fines imposed on him to the House Ethics Committee, which H.R. 73 tasks with managing appeals.

The committee announced on Monday that a majority of the panel did not agree to Clyde’s appeal.

Clyde argued that H.R. 73 violates the Constitution and that fines have been applied unequally.

A number of Republicans on the House Administration Committee alleged that Pelosi failed to pass through a security screening as required on Feb. 4 and demanded that the sergeant-at-arms, who is tasked with imposing fines for noncompliance under H.R. 73, fine the California Democrat.

“While my team and I continue to await an announcement of a fine levied on the Speaker, we are preparing for the next stage of this fight,” Clyde said on Monday. “I will take my case to federal court where I am confident justice will be served.”

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Earlier this month, a Presbyterian minister sued Pelosi, Kamala Harris, the U.S. Capitol Police Board, and the Senate Sergeant at Arms over the continued presence of a fence blocking off the area surrounding the Capitol building.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney said in his complaint that his First Amendment rights have been violated because he has been unable to hold prayer sessions.

Mahoney claims that his prohibition from holding the vigil violates his First Amendment rights of free speech, assembly, and free exercise of religion.