Chairman McGovern Responds to Republican Lawsuit Challenging Remote Voting Rule
WASHINGTON, DC — Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) today issued the following statement in response to House Republicans announcing that they intend to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the House’s remote voting rule:
“House Republicans never let facts or legal precedent get in the way of challenging an outcome they don’t like. That’s true today, even though some of the very lawmakers leading this lawsuit have praised our work and called for remote procedures during this pandemic.
“The Constitution and more than 100 years of legal precedent, including Supreme Court cases, have all made clear that the House has the ability to set its own rules. Constitutional experts reaffirmed this as the House moved forward with this change. Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of Berkeley School of Law, has concluded, the ‘Constitution bestows on each House of Congress broad discretion to determine the rules for its own proceedings…This authority is expansive and would include the ability to adopt a rule to permit proxy voting.’ Deborah Pearlstein, constitutional law professor at Cardozo School of Law, has said the ‘Constitution…contains no specific requirement of physical presence for Members to vote.’
“The sad reality is that our nation is about to lose 100,000 lives to the coronavirus. We are not going to let the latest Republican ploy prevent us from responding to this pandemic and continuing our work for the people.”
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