Aug 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Judge dismisses House GOP lawsuit against Pelosi's proxy voting system

Kevin McCarthy

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by House Republicans against Speaker Nancy Pelosi that sought to invalidate a resolution that allows members to vote via proxy during the coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: The lawsuit, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, alleged that the system is unconstitutional because the Constitution requires a quorum, or a majority, of lawmakers to be physically present in order to conduct business. Pelosi, who has defended the resolution as vital to public health, argued that "the Constitution empowers each chamber of Congress to set its own procedural rules."

The bottom line: District Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled that the House has "absolute immunity from civil suit" under the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution and threw out the lawsuit.

Read the full ruling.

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