NH Dems Say Immunity Claim Overblown In Virtual Voting Suit

By Brian Dowling (July 20, 2021, 3:46 PM EDT) -- New Hampshire Democrats told the full First Circuit on Monday that the state's Republican House speaker is wrongly claiming "absolute" legislative immunity to avoid allegations he violated federal disability laws by not letting lawmakers cast votes virtually during the pandemic.

In an opening brief, Minority Leader Robert R. Cushing asked the en banc panel to affirm the First Circuit's April ruling that federal law stripped House Speaker Sherman Packard of the immunity shield, saying his Republican counterpart's claim to "unrestricted and unlimited" power has been repeatedly rejected.

"'Absolute legislative immunity' is a misnomer," Cushing said. "While broad, the doctrine is prudential and is not without limits."...

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