§4-1A-1. Purpose; legislative findings and declarations


Published: 2015

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WEST VIRGINIA CODE











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WVC 4 - 1 A- 1

§4-1A-1. Purpose; legislative findings and declarations.

(a) The purpose of this article is to describe the scope and

limitations of legislative immunity provided by:

(1) English common law;

(2) The Speech or Debate Clause of the United States

Constitution, Article I, Section 6;

(3) Decisions regarding legislative immunity as developed in

federal common law by the federal judiciary in interpreting the

Speech or Debate Clause of the United States Constitution, Article

I, Section 6;

(5) The Speech or Debate Clause of the West Virginia

Constitution, Article VI, Section 17;

(6) The Separation of Powers Doctrine and the system of checks

and balances embodied in the United States Constitution; and

(7) The Division of Powers set forth in the West Virginia

Constitution, Article V, Section 1.

(b) The Legislature finds and declares as follows:

(1) That the privilege of Speech or Debate has been recognized

as an important protection of the independence and integrity of the

Legislature.

(2) That the ancestry of this privilege traces back to a

clause in the English Bill of Rights of 1689 and the history traces

even further back, almost to the beginning of the development of

the English Parliament as an independent force.

(3) That in the American governmental structure, privileges arising under the Speech or Debate Clause reinforce the Separation

of Powers Doctrine and the system of checks and balances that was

so deliberately established by the founding fathers and was carried

over into the West Virginia Constitution.

(4) That the protections provided by the Speech or Debate

Clause and the Separation of Powers Doctrine were not written into

the national and state Constitutions simply for the personal or

private benefit of members of Congress, the state Legislatures and

local governing bodies, but were intended to protect the integrity

of the legislative process by insuring the independence of

individual legislators.





Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session

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