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Legislative Immunity

Robert Wechsler
I've written many blog posts about various cases where the legislative immunity defense has been made, but I haven't pulled together in one post the three alternative, preventative approaches local governments can take to deal with the issue of legislative immunity before anyone raises it as a defense. It is far better, and far less expensive, to prevent local legislators from raising the defense of legislative immunity than it is to litigate this complex issue. It is also damaging to the...
Robert Wechsler
The denial of unethical behavior, which usually occurs long after the behavior itself, is usually the worst part of an ethics scandal, the adding of insult to injury. The public is faced with two possibilities when an official denies that he did something unethical. This dilemma is well described in Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What's Right and What to Do about It, a new book by Max H. Bazerman...
Robert Wechsler
Update: May 27, 2011 (see below)

Last week, I wrote about a temporary restraining order (TRO) placed on the publication of a Wisconsin bill that was allegedly passed in violation of the state's open meetings law. However, the court placing the TRO took four legislative leaders off the complaint on grounds of legislative immunity. Only the secretary of state...
Robert Wechsler
According to articles on the WKOW TV (Madison, WI)  website, this morning a Wisconsin judge placed a restraining order to stop a controversial budget repair bill from becoming law. The principal cause of action was a violation of the state's open meetings law. However, the names of four legislative leaders were taken off the suit due to their legislative immunity to civil action during the legislative session. Only...
Robert Wechsler
A Clever Use of Government Employees for Political Purposes
According to an article in the Miami Herald, it appears that the mayor of Miami-Dade County, currently facing a recall election, is playing a clever little game that involves the use of government employees for political purposes.

The administration "excused 12 county transit employees...
Robert Wechsler
Here's a curiosity relating to local official legislative immunity. According to an article in on Friday, Virginia state senator Chap Peterson sponsored a bill to give local officials in Virginia legislative immunity. The bill would have added the following provision to...