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Archive of posts filed under the State Legislative Proceedings category.

Virginia Supreme Court Takes on Speech or Debate

The Virginia Supreme Court recently issued a decision in Edwards v. Vesilind, No. 160643 (Va. Sept. 15, 2016), a case involving the application of the Virginia constitution’s speech or debate clause to a subpoena for documents directed to Virginia state senators and the Division of Legislative Services (DLS), a legislative agency that provides legal and [...]

A Tenuous Recess Appointment in Virginia

An interesting recess appointment issue has arisen in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Article VI, section 7, of the Virginia constitution provides that justices of the state supreme court, who serve for 12 year terms,  “shall be chosen by the vote of a majority of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly.” Under [...]

Delegate Morrissey and the Voters Who Love Him

So when we left off our discussion of Virginia Delegate Joseph Morrissey (D-Henrico turned I-Prison), I noted: All of this is likely academic as the voters will probably not take up Morrissey’s case as a cause celebre ala Wilkes. But it should be noted that Wilkes was a famous libertine and some of his expulsions [...]

Virginia’s John Wilkes Wannabe

For any middle-aged legislator thinking about going all flagrante delicto with an underage intern, be warned that potential consequences include not only pregnancy, but thorny constitutional issues. Tweet

But They Can Still Vote While Intoxicated, Right?

According to several news accounts in the last week, a Minnesota student group is working to end “legislative immunity from drunk driving arrests.” Apparently someone believes that Minnesota state legislators are immune from arrest for DWI based on Article IV, section 10, of the Minnesota Constitution, which provides that “members of each house in all cases except [...]

We Have Another Tie!

This time in Wisconsin, where a Republican state senator (facing a recall election in June) has resigned, leaving the Senate split at 16-16. Unlike Virginia, Wisconsin has no constitutional provision providing for the lieutenant governor (or anyone else) to break ties.  Nor, apparently, is there any statute that says what happens in this situation. According [...]

Bolling Memorandum on Breaking Ties in the Virginia Senate

Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bolling has issued this ruling on his power to break deadlocks in the Virginia Senate. In brief, Bolling concludes that his power to vote includes organizational matters such as determining rules of procedure and voting on officers. However, he also finds that he lacks the power to vote on final passage of [...]

Virginia Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Lieutenant Governor’s Right to Vote in Senate

On ripeness and separation-of-powers grounds. Decision can be found here. No cite to Point of Order. Sigh. Tweet

Can a Court Resolve the Virginia Senate Deadlock?

Virginia Democrats may go to court over the issue of whether the Lieutenant Governor can break ties on organizational matters in the Senate. As indicated in a previous post, I am skeptical about the merits of this claim. (Another useful resource on this subject is the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures, which [...]

AIG Executives, Dodd Donations and the Connecticut Legislative Hearing

          What do Joseph Rooney, Chris Phole, Steven Pike, Greg Ruffa, Leonid Shekhtman, Christian Todd, Joseph Cassano, Steven Wagar, Doug Poling, and Jonathan Liebergall have in common?  Well, first, they are all AIG executives who received bonuses that are now the subject of more or less universal outrage.  Second, they have all been subpoenaed to [...]