Heard only two days after its introduction, this resolution sought to implement a process for the House to discipline and expel democratically elected leaders in its chamber. Though we appreciated the basic elements of due process contained in the resolution, we remained concerned about two key aspects. First, the resolution did not provide meaningful standards for the conduct which could lead to disciplinary action or expulsion. Second, the resolution gave the House Speaker unilateral power to censure or reprimand a member, which creates an inherent and serious power imbalance in the process. We encouraged both the implementation of stricter standards for a disciplinary and expulsion process and a committee process for any such disciplinary hearings rather than leaving such censures to the discretion of the Speaker. The bill ultimately died in committee.
Expulsion of House Members (H 5036)
Representative Camille Vella-Wilkinson
Died in Committee