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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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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @HarvestPrude.

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    Posted: Thu, 05/28/2020 04:54 pm

    The way things are these days ALL Dems seem to vote as one. OR ELSE you will be voted out.

  • My Two Cents
    Posted: Sat, 05/30/2020 01:21 pm

    I feel about this the same way I feel about voting by mail. Proxy sounds like mob rule. With modern technology, what would be wrong with conducting House and Senate business via Zoom or some other platform? They can follow Roberts' Rules of Order, debate, discuss, and vote. 

    Voting by mail has been done frequently. I've voted absentee while in college and the military. In my state, a person can request a mail in ballot IF they are 65 and older (leaves me out, but not my husband), will be out of the county on election day, or some other circumstance that would prevent you from voting in person. I'm in favor of voting by mail OR in person. Take your pick. The mail order ballot should be requested by a certain date, and not sent out enmasse to every registered voter, such as is being done in California. 

    Neither one of these scenarios should have anything to do with politics, but in practicality.