House Speaker Kevin McCarthy put an end to the contentious proxy voting procedure that had permitted lawmakers to vote from a distance during the COVID-19 crisis.
The legislation was approved in January 2021 on a party-line vote, allowing politicians to work remotely despite the pandemic while ostensibly obeying the Constitution’s mandate that they must be present on Capitol Hill to vote on and adopt legislation.
Republicans and Rep. Justin Amash, the independent in the chamber, voted unanimously against the rule. On the other side, only three Democrats opposed it. Republicans have opposed the proxy voting proposal since it was approved.
According to research done by the Ripon Society, Democrats used proxy voting primarily and heavily in 2021.
In their appeal, Republicans argued that the use of proxy votes was unconstitutional, citing a provision in Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution that specifies that parliamentarians “shall not be questioned in any other place.”
In the end, the Supreme Court turned down the Republican motion and upheld the appeals court’s earlier decision that courts lack the authority to make decisions regarding internal House rules.