WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is asking the Supreme Court to overturn the proxy voting rules that the House implemented because of the pandemic, a tool that Republican lawmakers have taken advantage of themselves.
McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement that he wants the court to reverse House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “perpetual proxy voting power grab.”
“Although the Constitution allows Congress to write its own rules, those rules cannot violate the Constitution itself, including the requirement to actually assemble in person,” McCarthy said. “Since its adoption 14 months ago, proxy voting has shattered 231 years of legislative precedent and shielded the majority from substantive policy debates and questions, effectively silencing the voices of millions of Americans.”
Proxy voting, which took effect in May 2020, allows lawmakers to cast votes remotely through another colleague so that they don’t have to physically be inside the House chamber.
This was one way that Congress ensured that lawmakers wouldn’t have to risk their health in order to vote on legislation amid the Covid pandemic, which is still surging across the country.
Both Democratic and Republican members of Congress have used the proxy voting system to submit their floor votes.
In August, Pelosi extended proxy voting through at least Oct. 1.
It’s unclear if the Supreme Court will even respond to McCarthy’s request. In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously ruled that courts did not have jurisdiction under the Constitution to weigh in on House rules.
McCarthy’s call comes as the House is set to return to Washington next week from its annual August recess.