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Lt. Gov. John Fetterman speaking in Harrisburg, Pa., in January 2020. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Pennsylvania Republican senators voted not to seat a Democratic lawmaker elected in November and removed the Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman from presiding over the chamber on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Why it matters: Republicans prevented Sen. Jim Brewster (D) from taking the oath of office, and he will be unable to assume his seat even though state officials certified his narrow win.

Context: Brewster won re-election over his Republican challenger Nicole Ziccarelli, whose campaign is challenging Brewster's victory, asking a federal judge to throw out a handful of votes to give her the win.

Republicans refused to seat Brewster because they believe litigation over the race must first be resolved in the courts.

  • State GOP senators also voted to remove Fetterman from presiding because they believed he did not recognize their legislative motions, according to the Inquirer.

What they're saying: "The votes were counted, the election was certified, and Sen. Jim Brewster is the winner of the 45th Senate District," Gov. Tom Wolf D) tweeted Tuesday.

  • "Senate Republicans’ refusal to swear him in is a disgrace to democracy. I'll do everything in my power to ensure voters have the final say in our elections."

The other side: Jennifer Kocher, spokesperson for the state's Senate Republicans, accused Democrats of breaking chamber rules.

  • “Today, the order and decorum of the Senate were hijacked by Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and members of the Senate Democrat caucus, who failed to adhere to Senate rules,” she said, according to the New York Times.

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

⏱️ Impeachment tick-tock

Chief Justice John Roberts swears in senators for President Trump's first impeachment. Photo: Senate Television via Getty Images

Here’s your guide to President Trump’s second impeachment trial. Remember, his first began almost exactly a year ago, on Jan. 16, 2020.

The state of play: Assuming the House sends the article of impeachment to the Senate on or before Jan. 19 (the day the Senate returns from recess):

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

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