Senator Ed Murray on SB 5737 – “It’s Probably Unconstitutional”
There was a lot of buzz this last weekend about Washington State’s SB 5737, the bill that would allow the county sheriff to enter your home without a warrant or probable cause. By Friday evening, the bill was amended and that wording was removed.
It came out on Saturday that the bill’s primary sponsor, Senator Ed Murray, claimed he wasn’t aware of that wording.
The prime sponsor, Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, also condemned the search provision in his own bill, after I [Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat] asked him about it. He said [Seattle trial lawyer Lance] Palmer is right that it’s probably unconstitutional.
“I have to admit that shouldn’t be in there,” Murray said.
That’s like asking if a bear shits in the woods.
How does the primary sponsor of the bill not know what it says?
One of the other sponsors, Senator Adam Kline said he hadn’t actually read it and wasn’t aware that the wording was in there, either:
Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, a lawyer who typically is hyper-attuned to civil-liberties issues, said he did not know the bill authorized police searches because he had not read it closely before signing on.
“I made a mistake,” Kline said. “I frankly should have vetted this more closely.”
I should have vetted it more closely. Isn’t that your freaking job?
This is becoming a major problem with our lawmakers. They don’t read anything that they vote on, which leads to the inevitable question. If none of our elected officials have time to read these bills, is it a sign that the bills are too big, do too much, or that the legislature/Congress is trying to do too much?
- Congress did not read the Patriot Act before voting on it.
- Congress did not read the Obamacare Act before voting on it. According to Nancy Pelosi, they had to pass it so we could find out what’s in it. Apparently, they had to pass it so they could find out what’s in it as well, because they are now trying to delay and/or get rid of certain provisions within the law, like the medical device tax.
- The House of Representatives was not happy about having only 3 minutes to peruse the “fiscal cliff” deal.
Of course, at the end of the day they blame some unnamed staffer. Why is it that these so-called “leaders” never take any responsibility? I mean, they admitted they didn’t actually read the bill, but who writes these things if not the members of the Legislature? Unnamed staffers? Have all of our laws been written by interns?
For the admission that it was a mistake, it probably wasn’t. Someone probably slipped it in to see if anyone would notice, and if they could sneak it through.
The United States Constitution specifically states that there shall be no religious test administered for people who want to run for office.
It does not say, however, that we can’t give them a test to see how well they actually know the Constitution. I think it’s time we started.