Volume 112
Issue
1
Date
2023

Shouting “Fire” in a Crowded Chamber: The Speech or Debate Clause, Incitement, and the Limitations of Legislative Immunity

by Maya Devi Gandhi

I’ve seen your frown and it’s like lookin’ down The barrel of a gun, And it goes off And out come all these words — “Mardy Bum,” Arctic Monkeys Footnote #1 content: ARCTIC MONKEYS, Mardy Bum, on WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM, THAT’S WHAT I’M NOT (Domino Recording Co. 2006).

We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen. — Former President Donald Trump, January 6, 2021 Footnote #1 content: ARCTIC MONKEYS, Mardy Bum, on WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM, THAT’S WHAT I’M NOT (Domino Recording Co. 2006).

Former Representative Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) is one for strong rhetoric. A prominent figure in the effort to overturn the 2020 election—with an established pattern of bolstering lies about its integrity —Rep. Brooks was among the most incendiary speakers at former President Donald Trump’s rally just hours before the January 6 insurrection:

Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass. Now our ancestors sacrificed their blood, their sweat, their tears, their fortunes, and sometimes their lives to give us, their descendants, an America that is the greatest nation in world history. So I have a question for you, are you willing to do the same? My answer is yes. Louder! Are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America? Louder! Will you fight for America?

Continue Reading Shouting “Fire” in a Crowded Chamber: The Speech or Debate Clause, Incitement, and the Limitations of Legislative Immunity.

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