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S. Huband, Esq.
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Under the Speech and Debate Clause are members of Congress

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Under the Speech and Debate Clause are members of Congress protected from lawsuit when they use a person's name in a report and distribute the report to the news media?
Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.

Q) Under the Speech and Debate Clause are members of Congress protected from lawsuit when they use a person's name in a report and distribute the report to the news media?

Yes, generally speaking. The rationale for the speech and debate (S&D) clause is basically the same as sovereign or prosecutorial immunity. The people acting on behalf of a governmental entity should not have to worry about being sued or prosecuted for stating unpleasant truths about whatever topic, so long as they are acting within the scope of their position as a legislator.

In terms of a congressman or senator, an activity is covered by the clause if the speech or activity is within the "legislative process." That term is discussed in the article cited below.

I located a great and very recent article about the S&D clause by the Congressional Research Service. The CRS is a part of the Library of Congress, and is a non-partisan entity that authors scholarly articles. It also provides political and legal analysis to members of Congress. The article goes into great depth about when the clause applies and the extent of protection the clause provides. It also surveys the (mostly U.S. Supreme Court) cases that have decided speech and debate clause issues.

I hope my response has been helpful. If you have follow-up questions or concerns on this topic, please ask. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Take care,
Shuband
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Shuband

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