Proxy voting allows lawmakers to cast votes through a colleague so they don’t need to be physically present in the House chamber.
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to House rules allowing proxy voting, a system adopted during the Covid pandemic.
McCarthy asked the high court last September to overturn the proxy voting rules, which allow lawmakers to cast votes through a colleague so that they don’t need to be physically present in the House chamber.
Republican lawmakers have taken advantage of the process themselves, which took effect in May 2020.
McCarthy said in a statement at the time that he wanted the court to reverse House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “perpetual proxy voting power grab.”
In late December, Pelosi, D-Calif., announced that remote voting would continue until Feb. 13. It was initially set to expire on Jan. 4.
A spokesperson for McCarthy said in a statement Monday that “Members of Congress should show up to work on behalf of their constituents, just as they have since our nation was founded.”
“We can’t rely on a separate branch of government to make Congress do their jobs as intended by the Constitution, and if Republicans earn back the majority, proxy voting will be eliminated on Day One,” the spokesperson added.
Pelosi called the Supreme Court’s decision a “victory for Congress, the rule of law and public health.”
“With this failed lawsuit, Republicans have worked to recklessly endanger the health of colleagues, staffers and institutional workers,” Pelosi said. “In doing so, they have fought harder to try to score political points than they have fought to help struggling families during the pandemic.”
Pelosi also noted that more than half of House GOP lawmakers last year designated a proxy so that they could vote remotely.
An NBC News analysis of proxy letters found that more than 90 lawmakers have submitted one since December 2021, with about one-sixth coming from Republicans