WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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
(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
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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