Aug 272017
 
 August 27, 2017  Laws, Surveillance, U.S.

Rachel Blevins of The Free Thought Project writes:

A bill that will allow homes to be searched without a warrant was passed with overwhelming support by the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Trump—and it happened with no media coverage and very little fanfare.

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.”

[…]

However, there is one major red flag buried within the text of the bill that stems from the list of “powers” given to the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, and it violates one of the basic tenets of the U.S. Constitution.

“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.”

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.”

Read more on The Free Thought Project.

The roll call shows that 5 legislators voted against the bill (all Republicans), while 29 legislators did not vote on the bill at all. The bill had bipartisan support, passing 399-5.

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