David Barton Claims the Use of Ankle Monitors Violates the Third Amendment

While speaking at Cornerstone Church in Texas last weekend, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton claimed that government overreach during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to wholesale violations of the Bill of Rights, including the Third Amendment, which prohibits the quartering of soldiers in private homes.

Barton made the comment in passing, so he never explained exactly how the Third Amendment had supposedly been violated in recent months. But while speaking at Crosspoint Community Church in Missoula, Montana, this Sunday, Barton made this claim again, and this time, he explained what he meant.

Not surprisingly, his argument was absurd even by his standards.

“The Third Amendment says, essentially, that the government can’t set up shop in your house,” Barton said. “And now we’ve seen, particularly in states like Virginia and elsewhere, ‘Oh, we’ve heard that you’ve been exposed to COVID. We’re going to put an ankle bracelet to make sure you can’t leave your house. We’re going to monitor everywhere you go, everything you do.’ No, that’s Third Amendment stuff. The government can’t set up shop in my house.”

The Third Amendment states that “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.” Even Barton’s own “Founder’s Bible” admits that the Third Amendment pertains to the banning of “the forcible quartering of soldiers in houses except by consent of the owner.”

Needless to say, the use of ankle monitors is hardly the same thing.