9th Circ. Says Renzi Can't Claim Constitutional Privilege

Law360, New York (June 23, 2011, 7:53 PM EDT) -- The Ninth Circuit on Thursday refused to dismiss corruption charges against former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., who had argued the government's allegations should be barred based on a constitutional privilege that prevents lawmakers from facing legal action over legislative acts.

A three-judge panel found that Renzi's alleged actions — coercing a mining company into buying land from a former business partner who owed him money — fell outside the protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution's speech or debate clause.

"In its narrowest scope, the clause...
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