Today Maryland Republican General Assembly Delegate Michael D. Smigiel, Sr. introduced an emergency bill (HB 1074) called the Fourth Amendment Protection Act which would effectively end the State of Maryland's support for National Security Administration (NSA) operations. The bill will be heard on March 6, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. in the Maryland House. Smigiel is utilizing the powers of the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to frame the bill.
The bill's summary reads:
Stating the policy of the State concerning the collection of specified electronic data or metadata of a person without a warrant; prohibiting an agency of the State, a political subdivision of the State, an employee of an agency or political subdivision, or a corporation providing services on behalf of the State or a political subdivision from engaging in specified activities relating to the collection of specified electronic data or metadata of a person; and providing for specified penalties."
The State of Maryland is a key component of the operations for the NSA as its main headquarters are found at Fort Meade. Tenth Amendment Center Executive Director, Michael Boldin, said today, “The agency relies heavily on state and local help. This bill bans all of it.” The bill could pull the plug on electricity and stop the flow of water to the Fort Meade facility.
The effect of the bill is extensive and could cripple NSA operations in the state as it would have the effect of cutting off the blood supply to a cancerous tumor. The bill calls for an end for any state entity, employee or contractor from providing any services to the NSA for so long as they agency is not in compliance with the U.S. Constitution. The headquarters building and staff rely heavily on services from the State of Maryland which would dry up once HB 1074 is enacted.
Should a commissioner, entity, employee or contractor with the State of Maryland knowingly violate the bill, should it become law, then they will forfeit their position. So a contractor doing work with the State of Maryland would need to end or not commence work with the NSA or otherwise jeopardize their continued relationship with the State. That company or person would never be able contract with the State of Maryland in the future. The same would hold true for employees or elected officials in the State of Maryland, they would need to vacate their position immediately.
Utah is considering a similar motion while Tennessee, Arizona, California and Washington have already filed similar bills.