A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Monday, July 10, 2006

NEWS FLASH - Congress Not Above The Law

Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan made a stunning assertion today: members of Congress are not above the law.

Let me catch my breath. Did he also say it is Monday? That the sun will set tonight? It is pathetic that he had to make this statement, but he did, because the only argument that the search was illegal is that Congress is above the law.

I love this, the Judge went on to say that Jefferson's theory of legislative privilege "would have the effect of converting every congressional office into a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime."

The issue was whether the speech and debate clause of the Constitution, which protects elected officials from being questioned by the president, a prosecutor or a plaintiff in a lawsuit about their legislative work, applied here.

It doesn't, because accepting a bribe is not considered "legislative work."

No, I'm not kidding, it isn't.

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