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Hypothetical Situation No. 9

As a new legislator, and because you are somewhat unsure of protocol, you decide to make a personal address during a floor session regarding individuals who had commented on a proposed bill. The individuals who commented on the bill are from your district and you know them well. During a point of personal privilege, you rise to address the body and proceed to name the individuals personally. You also claim the individuals have been dishonest in their representations and point out examples of their dishonesty in your district. Later, you find out the individuals are very upset about having their character discussed during official legislative proceedings that are broadcast around the state and are considering filling a defamation lawsuit against you.

Question: Can you be held civilly liable for your statements?

AYes, because you personally named the individuals, and it's possible the information was untrue.
BYes, because legislators cannot discuss individuals by name during the legislative process.
CNo, because legislators cannot be held liable for anything while they are an elected official.
DNo, because the Montana Constitution grants legislators with immunity from suit for legislative acts, including speech or debate during the legislative process.



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Last Modified:
1/5/2015 10:01:26 PM