Republican Congressmen Louie Gohmert and Andrew Clyde have announced that they will be appealing a $5,000 fine they received for reportedly walking past metal detectors inside the U.S. Capitol Building.
The unusual fine comes as members are not typically required to go through security barriers at the Capitol building or their House office buildings — until last week when Democrats passed a new law that requires them to do so.
“Since I had been complying with the metal detector requirement despite the Constitutional issue, I was surprised to receive a notice today stating that I had not complied with their policy and that I would be fined $5,000,” Gohmert said in a statement, as the Washington Examiner reports. “I will be appealing the fine and taking whatever action is necessary, especially considering this policy is unconstitutional.”
“I explained to the Capitol Police officer that I had never been required to be screened again from the restroom immediately by the House floor since the metal detectors had been in place at the other doors,” he added. “I said they had witnessed me walk the few feet to the men’s room, enter, and take the few steps back. No one ever mentioned or made that a requirement until yesterday.”
“Unlike in the movie The Godfather, there are no toilets with tanks where one could hide a gun, so my reentry onto the House floor should have been a non-issue,” Gohmert continued.
Clyde, a Georgia Republican, similarly described the new order as unconstitutional.
During an interview on Fox News, Clyde said: “Well, you know, this is a constitutional issue. Those metal detectors are there to detain, and that’s a violation of Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution.”
“You know, we’re going to the House floor to vote, we represent 700,000 people in our districts. And the Constitution says that we cannot be impeded when we go the floor to vote,” he continued.
Clyde added, “I’m gonna fight it. I’m going to appeal it. And then, I’m going to take them to court because this is unconstitutional. We’re all set up to do that, but I had to have standing.”
While the two Republicans are the first members to be penalized as a result of the new measure, they may not have been the only ones to violate it.
Several members are claiming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also violated it:
Pay the fine Speaker Pelosi. https://t.co/xT7ps5JaQv
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) February 6, 2021
Speaker Pelosi made the rules. She must live by her rules like everyone else. https://t.co/6ZYcOEaW3c
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) February 5, 2021