Democracy's Privileged Few : Legislative Privilege and Democratic Norms in the British and American Constitutions

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  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2007-02-28
  • Publisher: Yale University Press

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This book is the first to compare the freedoms and protections of members of the United States Congress with those of Britain's Parliament. Placing legislative privilege in historical context, Josh Chafetz explores how and why legislators in Britain and America have been granted special privileges in five areas: jurisdictional conflicts between the courts and the legislative houses, freedom of speech, freedom from civil arrest, contested elections, and the disciplinary powers of the houses. Legislative privilege is a crucial component of the relationship between a representative body and the other participants in government, including the people. In recounting and analyzing the remarkable story of how parliamentary government emerged and evolved in Britain and how it crossed the Atlantic, Chafetz illuminates a variety of important constitutional issues, including the separation of powers, the nature of representation, and the difference between written and unwritten constitutionalism. This book will inspire in readers a much greater appreciation for the rise and triumph of democracy.

Author Biography

Josh Chafetz is a student at Yale Law School where he is an editor for the Yale Law & Policy Review and the Yale Law Journal. He received his doctorate in politics from Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He has written for the New York Times Book Review, New Republic, Commentary, Weekly Standard, and other journals. He lives in New Haven.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Lex Parliamenti vs. Lex Terraep. 27
Political Questions and Nonjusticiabilityp. 49
Free Speech in Parliamentp. 68
Free Speech in Congressp. 87
Freedom from Civil Arrest and Legal Process for Members of Parliamentp. 111
Freedom from Civil Arrest for Members of Congressp. 134
Disputed Parliamentary Electionsp. 144
Disputed Congressional Electionsp. 162
Breach of Privilege and Contempt of Parliamentp. 193
Punishment by Congressp. 207
Conclusionp. 236
Notesp. 241
Indexp. 295
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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