Court Opinion: D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenge To House Resolution Allowing Proxy Voting During Pandemic

In May of 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 965, which allowed House members to cast votes and mark their presence by proxy during the public health emergency caused by COVID-19. The Republican minority filed suit challenging the Resolution, arguing that it was unconstitutional because the Constitution required that members be physically present on the House floor to create a quorum and cast votes. The district court dismissed the suit as being precluded by the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause. The DC Circuit, in a unanimous opinion of the panel by Judge Srinivasan, affirmed, holding that the Resolution constituted “quintessentially legislative acts falling squarely within the Clause’s ambit.” The panel rejected the argument that the implementation of the Resolution was fundamentally different from the legislative acts taken to enact it.

A link to the opinion in McCarthy v. Pelosi is here:$file/20-5240-1906976.pdf