are Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the Joint Committee on Printing, have all moved to dismiss. The issues presented have been fully briefed and argued. For reasons stated below the complaint must be dismissed.
The second and third clauses of Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution of the United States provide that "Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings," and that "Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same." Since 1895 Congress has by statute committed itself to producing the Congressional Record, under the control of its Joint Committee on Printing, indicating that it "shall be substantially a verbatim report of proceedings." § 44 U.S.C. § 901. The Committee has issued rules which govern preparation of the Record, and each House also has applicable rules. Under the Rules of the Senate, for example, "Senators are permitted to make minor corrections in their remarks, but no substantive changes are allowed." Material no part of which was spoken on the floor is to be identified by a "bullet" symbol if inserted in the Record.1 In the House, members are allowed to revise their remarks, but authorization by the House is required if those revisions "place a different aspect on the remarks of a colleague."
Plaintiffs complain that the Committee has not successfully enforced these rules, and that some Congressmen engage in extensive editing of speeches delivered on the floor and wholesale insertion of new material, without any indication that these alterations in the record of floor proceedings has been made. These practices, plaintiffs contend, lead to significant distortion of the true record, confusion as to what actually took place on the floor of Congress, and to misimpressions concerning the actual views of individual Congressman. Although on the limited record before the Court such effects have not been demonstrated, for the purposes of the present motions these allegations must be accepted as true.
Defendants raise a number of grounds on which they argue that plaintiffs' complaint must be dismissed. They contend that plaintiffs lack standing, that the present suit is barred by the Speech or Debate Clause of the United States Constitution, that it presents a non-justiciable political question, and that in any event a grant of equitable relief would be inappropriate. Assuming without deciding that one or more plaintiffs have standing to bring the present action,
the Court concludes that by virtue of the Speech or Debate Clause it nevertheless lacks jurisdiction to entertain plaintiffs' claims.
The Speech or Debate Clause provides that "for any Speech or Debate in either House, [Senators and Representatives] shall not be questioned in any other Place." U.S. Const. art. I, § 6. The immunity provided by the Speech or Debate Clause is intended "to protect the integrity of the legislative process," United States v. Brewster, 408 U.S. 501, 507, 33 L. Ed. 2d 507, 92 S. Ct. 2531 (1972), and "without exception, [Supreme Court] cases have read the Speech or Debate Clause broadly to effectuate its purposes." Eastland v. United States Servicemen's Fund, 421 U.S. 491, 501, 44 L. Ed. 2d 324, 95 S. Ct. 1813 (1975). As recently as this month the Court of Appeals for this Circuit has reiterated that "the provision shields more than 'words spoken in debate. ' It encompasses, beyond speeches on the floor of Congress, such activity integral to lawmaking as voting, circulation of information to other Congress members, and participation in committee investigations, proceedings, and reports." Walker v. Jones, 733 F.2d 923, 929 (D.C. Cir. 1984) [emphasis added; citations omitted].
The protection afforded to statements placed in the Congressional Record is thus not limited to words actually uttered on the floor of Congress. Although the Supreme Court has never specifically addressed whether material later inserted in the Congressional Record is protected by the Speech or Debate Clause, see Hutchinson v. Proxmire, 443 U.S. 111, 116 n.3, 61 L. Ed. 2d 411, 99 S. Ct. 2675 (1979), this Court has so held in the past. McGovern v. Martz, 182 F. Supp. 343, 347 (D.D.C. 1960). The Court here reaffirms this holding. As has also been recognized by other courts, "the Record's role in the intra-Congressional communicative process" includes transmission of such inserted material. Miller v. Transamerican Press, Inc., 709 F.2d 524, 529 (9th Cir. 1983). See also Straus v. Gilbert, 293 F. Supp. 214, 216 (S.D.N.Y. 1968).
The privilege also embraces material unspoken on the floor of the House but inserted in the Congressional Record by a Congressman with the consent of the House. It cannot be assumed that the complete interchange of ideas and information can be achieved solely from debate on the floor of the House; in point of fact, Congressmen often utilize the Congressional Record as their vehicle to impart, and their source of acquiring, necessary information. Keeping in mind the social policy underlying the privilege, it should -- and so does -- protect Congressmen for publication in the Congressional Record.