Privilege From Arrest

Author:Dennis J. Mahoney

Page 2019

That legislators should be free from the threat of arrest except for notorious crimes while attending legislative sessions or en route to or from them has been recognized in English law for at least 1300 years. After the AMERICAN REVOLUTION that privilege was inserted into several state constitutions and the ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.

Because the privilege does not extend to " FELONY, or BREACH OF THE PEACE, " it amounts in practice to immunity from arrest in civil matters, such as nonpayment of debts. The privilege is less a guarantee of legislative independence from executive abuse than a protection of public business from interference growing out of...

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