Given the boot: Utah National Guard soldiers forced to relocate during Washington D.C. deployment

Local News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC4 News) – Two hundred Utah National Guard troops deployed to keep the peace during protests in our nation’s capital have been forced to relocate from their hotel, not for security reasons but because of a political dispute.

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser objects to the military presence and asked President Trump to withdraw troops from her city. 

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Early Friday morning, the Utah soldiers were told they had to leave their hotel, a move that angered Senator Mike Lee who said in a statement: “Evicting Utah National Guard personnel from their hotels after a late-night shift risking their lives to protect Washington is a shameful, petty, discrediting decision by Mayor Bowser….their labor and sacrifice on behalf of Washingtonians deserves better than this embarrassing spectacle. If Mayor Bowser has a problem with President Trump she should take it up with him, not take it out on National Guard personnel in the middle of a dangerous deployment in her city.” 

Major Brent Mangum told ABC4 on the phone from D.C. that the Guard members were taking the relocation in stride.

“Soldiers who have gone through the training that we have, we’re used to living in fields,” Maj. Mangum said. “So moving hotels is not an issue for us.”

Many have claimed on social media that Guard members staying in a privately owned hotels is a violation of the Third Amendment of the Constitution which reads: “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

Professor Paul Cassell of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law says the Third Amendment doesn’t apply to this situation.

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“It really doesn’t seem to me that the Third Amendment is applicable in this situation,” Professor Cassell said. “Utah National Guard members are quartered in hotels not houses, that are covered by the Third Amendment. In any event, my understanding is that they’re being quartered with the consent of the hotel owners.”

Professor Cassell says the Amendment is a little used and rarely discussed law from the Revolutionary War era.

“I don’t remember anyone actually litigating a Third Amendment claim or saying it was in play at all so maybe this is one for the history books,” he said. “At least people are discussing the Third Amendment learning what it means and how it applies.”

The Utah troops in D.C. were scheduled to work until 2 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday morning before returning to their new hotel.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...