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Friday, May 20, 2022

Supreme Court rejects Republicans’ challenge to Pelosi’s voting rules

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a GOP lawsuit over COVID-19-related proxy voting rules that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, set for House representatives.

The rules, which were established in May 2020, allow members of the House of Representatives to act as proxies for colleagues in isolation due to COVID-19, the CCP (Communist Party of China) virus disease, or who were otherwise unable to cast their votes. in the room.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other members of the Republican Party have filed a lawsuit in the high court to overturn the July 2021 lower court ruling on the rules. At the time, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed that the courts did not have jurisdiction to evaluate the rules and procedures of the House of Representatives, affirming another lower court decision that reached a similar conclusion.

A Pelosi-backed House proxy resolution passed by the House of Representatives allowed lawmakers to act as proxies for up to 10 colleagues at a time, requiring them to disclose which members they intended to represent. It was adopted at the beginning of the pandemic and was supposed to be temporary, but was extended several times and remained in force until at least February 13.

Republican lawmakers have said the measure is a violation of the Constitution, arguing that only lawmakers actually present in the halls of Congress can vote.

Republican Party Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.) said last week at a press conference with other Republican leaders, “We believe in the personal vote. When the Republicans take back the House of Representatives, that’s what we’re aiming for.”

Republicans also called the proxy vote resolution a way for Democrats to maintain a slim majority in the House of Representatives regardless of whether all of their members are present on Capitol Hill.

“Nothing shook this unbroken tradition – not the yellow fever epidemic, not the burning of the Capitol during the War of 1812, not the Civil War, not the Spanish flu, not two world wars, not the September 11 attacks,” the Republicans said. wrote to the Supreme Court in their statement.

But the Pelosi team wrote in court documents that “in light of the pandemic and advances in modern technology, the House of Representatives has reasonably authorized members to vote remotely by providing binding and precise instructions to the member in the room.”

In the meantime, the House of Representatives used other rules devised during the pandemic, including a requirement to wear masks and a ban on gatherings in an area called the “Speakers’ Lobby” outside the House chamber. In addition, many hearings in the House of Representatives and the Senate are held virtually, and tourists are not allowed into the Capitol.

contributed to this report.

To follow

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter for The Epoch Times in New York.

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