In a unanimous ruling Tuesday, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause protects the independence of the legislature, preventing “intimidation of legislators by the Executive and accountability before a possibly hostile judiciary.”
The court dismissed the case, saying it wouldn’t get involved.
“Indeed, we are hard-pressed to conceive of matters more integrally part of the legislative process than the rules governing how Members can cast their votes on legislation and mark their presence for purposes of establishing a legislative quorum,” wrote Judge Padmanabhan Srikanth Srinivasan, an Obama appointee, for the court.
He was joined by Judges Judith Rogers, a Clinton appointee, and Justin Walker, a Trump appointee.
He argued the move was unconstitutional and members were required to be present to vote.
The court did not reach the constitutional arguments, instead ruling the judiciary could not get involved.
The resolution has been extended a number of times and is now in place until Aug. 17, allowing members to work remotely.
A spokesperson for Mr. McCarthy said they plan to appeal. “We are disappointed in the D.C. Circuit’s opinion but look forward to petitioning the Supreme Court for review later this summer,” the spokesperson said.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.