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Archive of posts filed under the Decorum and Debate category.

Felons on the Floor?

The Telegraph reports that a point of order has been raised in Parliament with regard to the propriety of allowing a “convicted criminal” the right of access to Westminster. A former member of Parliament named Chris Huhne, who two years ago resigned and pled guilty to the offense of “perverting the course of justice” (something [...]

House Rules on Decorum and Debate: Are there Words You Can Never Say on the Floor?

Apropos nothing in particular, here is a recent National Journal article discussing whether the House categorically forbids the use of certain vulgar or profane words in the course of debate. House Rule XVII(1)(b) simply states that “[r]emarks in debate (which may include references to the Senate or its Members) shall be confined to the question [...]

“Precedents” and Presidential Addresses

As you may have heard, the President has requested an opportunity to address a joint session of Congress. His request initially was to make the address on September 7, but the Speaker responded that because of certain logistical concerns “it is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening.” In reference to [...]

More on the Wilson Matter

             A few more observations on the Joe Wilson matter.  A Fox News reporter this morning commented that Wilson’s conduct violated section 370 of the House Rules and Manual.  This is true, sort of.  Section 370 is actually the provision of Jefferson’s Manual of Parliamentary Practice which states “[i]n Parliament, to speak irreverently or [...]

Scolding Joe Wilson

The Hill newspaper reports that Speaker Nancy Pelosi “has agreed the House should vote . . . on scolding Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for his outburst during President Barack Obama’s speech unless he apologies on the floor of the House.”  The “scolding” will apparently take the form of a “resolution of disapproval” that would be [...]