Supreme Court Blocks Challenge To Possibly Illegal Remote Voting Allowance In Congress

( On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to take up the Republican challenge to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s pandemic-era proxy voting rules, putting an end to the Republicans’ efforts to stop the unconstitutional practice.

The proxy voting rules were initially implemented in May 2020, allowing members of the House to act as “proxies” for other members ostensibly to address the COVID “public health emergency.”

The resolution was passed by the House enabling a single lawmaker to act as a proxy for as many as ten colleagues at a time, provided they disclose to the House Clerk what members they intended to represent.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and other lawmakers had asked the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court’s ruling that permitted Nancy’s proxy voting rule to remain in effect.

The Supreme Court’s decision not to take the case comes just nine days after it was reported that California Democrat Ted Lieu made use of the proxy vote rule to cast his vote for the Build Back Better bill while on a vacation cruise to Bermuda over Thanksgiving.

The proxy rule was set up ostensibly to limit members’ exposure to COVID and to allow members infected with coronavirus to continue with their duties. It was not set up so Ted Lieu could take a cruise to Bermuda.

But it isn’t just Democrats who have exploited the proxy voting rule. In February, a group of Republicans submitted their proxy vote letters to the House Clerk so they could attend the CPAC conference in Florida.

While the rule was supposed to be “temporary” (you know, like 15 days to slow the spread), it has been extended several times over the last 18 months. The most recent extension is allowing the proxy rule to remain in place until February 13.

Republicans argue that the proxy vote rule violates the Constitution because only lawmakers present are permitted to vote on legislation. They also maintain that the extensions of the rule no longer have anything to do with the COVID pandemic. Instead, it is a way for Democrats, who only hold the slimmest majority, to ensure every one of their members can vote whether they are in DC or not.

Currently, 93 members of the House have active proxy letters on file with the House Clerk, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn, the head of the Progressive Caucus Pramila Jayapal, and Republicans Madison Cawthorn and Louie Gohmert.