House Republicans ask courts to block proxy voting
by Harvest Prude
Posted 5/27/20, 11:27 am
WASHINGTON—House Republicans sued Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other top congressional officials on Tuesday for violating the constitutional requirement that congressional lawmakers assemble in person to conduct official business. Not a single Republican voted in favor when Democrats changed House rules earlier this month to allow one representative to vote on behalf of up to 10 others during public health emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic.
Will the lawsuit impede Congress? House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and the other plaintiffs want a federal judge to immediately and permanently block lawmakers from voting by proxy. Democrats still plan to allow designated stand-ins to vote on Wednesday. If the courts declare the practice unconstitutional, it’s unclear whether they would overturn any legislation passed that way. Traditionally, the judiciary has given Congress the flexibility to designate its own rules.
Dig deeper: Read my report in The Stew on the historic rule change.
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