The Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution states that "for any Speech or Debate in either House, [the Senators and Representatives] shall not be questioned in any other place." Its purpose is to protect the independence and integrity of the legislature. The Framers of the American Constitution incorporated centuries of English history and experience into this Clause, but they left little in the way of specifics about what they intended it to mean. This Article traces the development of how the Speech or Debate Clause has been understood and proposes a new framework for implementing the Clause's protections in view of how Congress works.

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