Sen. Amanda Chase files federal lawsuit against Virginia Senate after censure

Censure came after she voiced support for those who stormed U.S. Capitol

Sen. Amanda Chase is filing a federal lawsuit against the Senate of Virginia after she was censured last month.

The Democratic-controlled state Senate voted 24-9, rebuking Republican Senator Amanda Chase for what they call a “pattern of unacceptable conduct.” The censure comes after she voiced support for those who stormed the U.S. Capitol.

According to an announcement from Chase’s team, attorneys are filing a lawsuit on Monday against the Senate of Virginia in United States District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia for a civil rights violation.

“I’m going to continue to speak the truth. I will continue to do so in a way that I feel helps people to listen. I don’t think I’ve said or misspoken,” said Chase last month. Chase represents Virginia’s 11th District and is also running for governor.

“Free speech is not absolute. We all have freedom of speech. We can’t yell ‘fire’ in a theater. We can’t make seditious comments or insightful comments. We can’t slander others. Many of the comments that Senator Chase made were in line with that,” said Democratic Senator John Bell, who represents Virginia’s 13th district and introduced the resolution against Chase.

You can read the full statement from Chase’s team below:

“Today, Attorney Tim Anderson of Anderson and Associates in Virginia Beach, will file a federal lawsuit on behalf of plaintiff Senator Amanda Chase, candidate for Governor in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia, against the Senate of Virginia for a civil rights violation, related to the public censure issued against her as a Virginia State Senator for their intentional, knowingly and deliberate violations offending the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution as well as a total disregard to follow its own due process rules in issuing the censure.

The Plaintiff has received a public censure from the Virginia Senate for speech and expression that is protected under the United States Constitution, namely free speech and political expression. The issuance of a censure, issued by the Virginia Senate, was unlawful and contrary to the Plaintiff’s Constitutional rights. This Court can provide redress the harm to the Plaintiff by declaring rights of the parties, issuing injunctive relief regarding the censure and expungement of the censure to the Plaintiff. In all reported cases of censures of state elected officials in the nation, none have been based solely on the speech of an elected official.

This censure of the Plaintiff violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as the Plaintiff is being singled out and selectively penalized for taking unpopular political positions that the majority of the members of the Virginia Senate disagree with. Deliberate and intentional violation of established rules and protocols regarding public censure violates the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Senator Chase is seeking the issuance of a temporary and permanent injunction against the Defendant Susan Clarke Schaar from allowing the publication of SR91 in the official journal of the Virginia Senate pending the outcome of this case; issue a declaratory judgment that the Censure of Plaintiff violated Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution; issue a declaratory judgment that the Plaintiff did not engage in Disorderly Behavior pursuant to Article Four Section 7 of the Virginia Constitution; order the Defendant, the Honorable Susan Clarke Schaar to expunge the Substitute Censure and the Original Censure from the Public record and the official journal of the Senate; order the Defendant The Honorable Susan Clarke Schaar to reinstate the Plaintiff’s seniority rank existing prior to the issuance of SR91; provide a speedy hearing to determine the rights of the Plaintiff pursuant to FRCP 57; and grant an award of attorney fees and costs, as well as any other such relief as this Court may deem appropriate.”

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