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Diane Publishing Books
Speech or Debate Clause: Constitutional Background and Recent Developments
Alissa M. Dolan (au); Todd Garvey (au)
Members of Congress have immunity for their legislative acts under Article I, Section 6, clause 1, of the Constitution, which provides in part that ńˇýfor any speech or debate in either House, [Senators and Representatives] shall not be questioned in any other place.ńˇŁ Even if their actions are within the scope of the Speech or Debate Clause or some other legal immunity, Members of Congress remain accountable to the house of Congress in which they serve and to the electorate. In cases in which the Clause applies, the immunity is absolute and cannot be defeated by an allegation of an improper purpose or motivation. When applicable, the Clause provides both immunity from liability (in civil and criminal proceedings) and a complimentary evidentiary privilege. Recently, two separate and previously unresolved issues arose with respect to the scope and application of the Speech or Debate Clause. This report examines the constitutional background of the Speech or Debate Clause and these recent developments in jurisprudence. This is a print on demand report.
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