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Speaker Pelosi’s Legacy Dealt Massive Blow

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A federal judge ruled that the House of Representatives acted unconstitutionally in December 2022 when it passed a $1.7 trillion federal budget using proxy voting.

State Attorney General Paxton wrote in a press release, “Congress acted egregiously by passing the largest spending bill in U.S. history with fewer than half the members of the House bothering to do their jobs, show up, and vote in person.”

Paxton said his office “secured a major victory in defense of the United States Constitution.”

He added, “Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi abused proxy voting under the pretext of COVID-19 to pass this law, then Biden signed it, knowing they violated the Constitution. This was a stunning violation of the rule of law. I am relieved the Court upheld the Constitution.”

The judge said Speaker Nancy Pelosi violated the Constitution by allowing members to vote without being physically present.

While in office, Pelosi had referred to the budget as a major achievement.

However, the judge invalidated the proxy voting procedure, saying for over 235 years Congress has required a majority physical presence to pass legislation.

He argued this prevents a minority of members from passing laws affecting the entire nation.

The judge sided with Texas Attorney General Paxton, who had argued Pelosi abused proxy voting to pass the law and Biden signed it knowing it violated the Constitution.

“For over 235 years, Congress understood the Constitution’s Quorum Clause to require a majority of members of the House or Senate to be physically present to constitute the necessary quorum to pass legislation,” wrote the AG.

“This rule prevents a minority of members from passing legislation that affects the entire nation,” Paxton continued.

Paxton wrote in the statement, “But despite the Constitution’s text and centuries of consistent practice, the House in 2020 created a rule that permitted non-present members to be included in the quorum count and vote by proxy.”

“Pursuant to that novel rule, the House passed a new law included within the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, and that particular provision affects Texas,” explained Paxton.

“Like many constitutional challenges, Texas asserts that this provision is unenforceable against it because Congress violated the Constitution in passing the law. … The Court concludes that, by including members who were indisputably absent in the quorum count, the Act at issue passed in violation of the Constitution’s Quorum Clause.”

“Based on the Quorum Clause’s text, original public meaning, and historical practice, the Court concludes that the Quorum Clause bars the creation of a quorum by including non-present members participating by proxy,” continued the AG.

Paxton concluded, “Supreme Court precedent has long held that the Quorum Clause requires presence, and the Clause’s text distinguishes those absent members from the quorum and provides a mechanism for obtaining a physical quorum by compelling absent members to attend.”

However, the judge did not block the entire budget.

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