Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Freedom to Speak

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.6.1: "In order to insure complete freedom of speech by members of the House or the Senate, they shall not be questioned at any other place for what they may have said in a speech or debate while on the floor or in a committee hearing." Our Founders gave our Congressmen and Senators "congressional immunity" in order for them to speak freely in the national legislature without the worry of being charged with libel or slander. Apparently there were legislators who got into serious trouble for speaking against Queen Elizabeth I and other rulers. Even though our members of Congress do not need to worry about upsetting a king or queen, our Founders understood that protection from being sued for libel, slander, etc. was important if the legislators were to speak frankly about any person or subject.

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