In the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was instrumental in having metal detectors installed at the entrance to the Capitol building, which has served as a point of controversy ever since, given the unusually harsh fines leveled against House members who purposely bypass the machines.
According to the Washington Examiner, Pelosi will soon be forced to defend her new security measures in court, as it was announced this week that Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) is moving forward with a planned legal challenge to prove that the requirement for House members to pass through the metal detectors is “unconstitutional.”
Clyde revealed last month that he purposely bypassed the metal detectors to get hit with the fines in order to gain legal standing to sue Pelosi — a strategy that has, so far, panned out. The Georgia lawmaker was only waiting on the House Ethics Committee to reject his appeal over the fines in order to move his plan to the next phase.
“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 this week.
“This now provides the legal standing which I needed to challenge this unconstitutional resolution,” he added.
Under the rules of H.R. 73, Clyde was fined twice — the first fine costing $5,000 and the second infraction costing $10,000, which under the new rules will be deducted from the congressman’s salary. Clyde made clear last month that he was willing to take the fines for the team if it meant being able to haul Pelosi into court.
“People have to stand for the Constitution. And if I have to get fined in order to give me a legal standing to do that then I’ll be fined,” Clyde said in March, according to Fox News.
In an interesting plot twist, a number of Republican members of the House Administration Committee said they witnessed Pelosi bypassing the metal detectors and security screening in February, yet to this date, the House sergeant-at-arms has still not issued her a fine.
Only time will tell if Clyde has success in reversing the overly strict screenings for House members, but at the very least, it will cost Pelosi a lot of time and money to defend herself, which is a victory in its own right.