Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, are demanding Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser grant lawmakers access to a D.C. jail a day after a U.S. Marshals Service inspection found conditions inside may infringe on inmates’ civil rights.
In a letter sent to Bowser and signed by Taylor Greene, Gohmert, and GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, and Paul Gosar of Arizona, the lawmakers argue that the Constitution "vests absolute legislative authority over the District of Columbia to Congress. And while Congress has delegated some of its authority to your office for day-to-day administration of local affairs, the Supreme Court has held that Congress retains the power at any time to revise, alter, or revoke the granted authority.
"Additionally, the court has explicitly stated that the power of Congress over the District relates not only to national power, but all the powers of legislation which may be exercised by a state in dealing with its affairs."
The Marshals Service on Wednesday announced that it would move 400 inmates to a federal facility in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, because of its findings.
The inspection was prompted by D.C. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth’s finding that jail officials "abused" the rights of a defendant involved in the Capitol attack on Jan. 6 by allegedly delaying his medical care.
In a letter to the D.C. Department of Corrections, the team of deputy U.S. marshals found "standing human sewage" in the toilets of inmates’ cells and water "shut off for days" in some cells.
The lawmakers slammed Bowser for the findings.
"We find it morally bankrupt and completely duplicitous that your office has allowed more than 400 detainees to waste in squalid conditions and be denied their constitutional liberties while you lobby Congress to incorporate D.C. as the 51st state," they wrote.
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