OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie and other Republicans have sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the mask mandates in Congress.
During an interview on “Fox & Friends,” Massie spoke about the lawsuit and accused Pelosi of violating the Constitution by fining members of Congress who do not wear a mask inside the U.S. Capitol. A federal judge heard oral arguments on the case and is set to issue a ruling in the near future.
“Nancy Pelosi is not just a tyrant, she’s a hypocrite. And she has one set of rules for herself and another set of rules for everybody else in the House,” Massie began.
“She has deducted money directly from our salary, which is in blatant violation of the Constitution. Now, I know a lot of people aren’t sympathetic to congressmen having their salaries cut, but whatever she could do to us, she will do to the general public. And that’s what I realized this summer when 10 of us went down to the floor and blatantly and openly violated the mask rule,” he added.
“But she’s either not very smart or doesn’t have good lawyers because she violated the 27th Amendment to the Constitution and the base Constitution, which both say we can’t change our own salaries,” he said.
Republicans sued Pelosi over House proxy voting. A federal appeals court tossed the lawsuit.
In a 12-page opinion, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled unanimously that courts did not have jurisdiction under the Constitution to get involved with rules and procedures implemented in Congress.
Republicans filed the lawsuit to end Pelosi’s proxy voting system adopted by the House to allow for remote legislating because of the coronavirus.
“The district court dismissed the suit for lack of jurisdiction,” Sri Srinivasan, the court’s chief judge, wrote on behalf of the panel.
“The court concluded that the resolution and its implementation lie within the immunity for legislative acts conferred by the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause. We agree, and we thus affirm the district court’s dismissal of the case,” Srinivasan added.
During the pandemic, Pelosi has given representatives the option to vote on legislation in person or by proxy, meaning they don’t have to be physically present at the Capitol if they pick another lawmaker to vote on their behalf.
Several Republican lawmakers have come out against proxy voting.
“Nearly a year ago to the day, you made the decision to close the Capitol to visitors and begin implementing new protocols to govern access and movement of the members and staff of the Capitol complex. But since that time, we have learned more about the virus and have made monumental strides in our scientific and technological endeavors,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said earlier this year.