The right of the people 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, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
The Constitution, through the Fourth Amendment, protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. The Fourth Amendment, however, is not a guarantee against all searches and seizures, but only those that are deemed unreasonable under the law. Keeping in mind the balance of intrusion into personal rights and government interest of public safety.
It is this second issue that has prompted Congress’ latest erosion of our beloved rights. Public safety is important, but at what cost? Is the slippery slope toward Totalitarianism worth a bit of supposed safety, when a search could violate one’s right to privacy?
There are myriad cross-cutting arguments, but my goal in this post is to first inform you, dear reader, that Congress has legislated that you are no longer under the benefit of the Fourth Amendment when in the vicinity of the newly formed Washington (D.C.) Metrorail Safety Commission.
The seemingly harmless bill, House Joint Resolution 76:
“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.”
The text gives the Commission the authority to enter property near the Metro Rail System “without limitation” and without a warrant, for the purpose of “making inspections, investigations, examinations, and testing.”
Representative Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan, was one of only five who opposed the bill.
Amash called out the hypocrisy surrounding the fact that even though this legislation is in clear violation of the Constitution, it was passed by Congress with overwhelming support. “Only 5 of us voted against bill allowing govt to enter/search private property in parts of VA, MD & DC w/o warrant,” He wrote on Twitter.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote in Kentucky vs. King,
“How ‘secure’ do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and, on hearing sounds indicative of things moving, forcibly enter and search for evidence of unlawful activity?”
The second bit of hypocrisy is that it was completely ignored by the media. Although not surprising, given they are no longer the journalists of integrity whose job is holding the government accountable. But I saw nothing about this, save at ZeroHedge, which is an investment site, and at The Free Thought Project (
Our non-representing reprehensibles may be laying the blueprint for future legislation across the country. Thus my impetus to inform.
Be blessed, and discuss in your spheres of influence. Links below for further research.