Federal Judge Rules Congress' $1.7 Trillion Spending Bill in 2022 Unconstitutional - www.conservativeroof.com
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Federal Judge Rules Congress’ $1.7 Trillion Spending Bill in 2022 Unconstitutional

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Lubbock, Texas, ruled that the $1.7 trillion government funding bill of 2022 was unconstitutionally approved. This ruling came as lawmakers in 2022 utilized a pandemic-era rule permitting members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on the bill by proxy rather than in person.

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has urged the courts to intervene and block a provision within the funding bill that gave pregnant workers stronger legal protections.

U.S. District Judge Wesley Hendrix has reviewed the request and issued a “limited” ruling concerning one of the two provisions that Paxton aimed to block.

In a ruling, Judge Hendrix, appointed by former President Trump, deemed the passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act as improper, thereby prohibiting the law from being enforced against the state as an employer.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, passed in December 2022, mandates that employers must offer reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees.

In his decision, Hendrix pointed out that his injunction only applies to employees of the state government.

Last year, Paxton filed a lawsuit asserting that the federal spending package was unconstitutionally passed. He argued that because over half of the members of the House of Representatives were not physically present to establish a quorum, yet they still voted by proxy.

In May 2020, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi facilitated the establishment of a rule enabling lawmakers to vote by proxy as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Republicans took control of the House in 2022, they ditched the proxy rule after challenging it in court unsuccessfully.

In a comprehensive 120-page ruling, Hendrix emphasized that throughout the past two centuries leading up to the adoption of the voting proxy rule, Congress had adhered to the understanding that a majority of House or Senate members must be physically present to establish a quorum for passing legislation, as mandated by the Constitution’s quorum clause.

“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,” he wrote.

Paxton criticized Congress, stating that it acted “egregiously” in passing the $1.7 trillion funding bill.

“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. “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.”

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