A federal appeals court has ruled that the FBI’s May 20, 2006, raid of Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-La.) office in the Rayburn House Office Building violated the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause because it allowed the executive branch to review materials that were part of the legislative process.The court ruled that Jefferson has a right to demand that the government return those items that he can demonstrate would be covered by the Speech or Debate clause, which protects Members from prosecution for things they say in pursuit of their legislative activity.Jefferson was indicted by the Justice Department in June for allegedly accepting bribes to help a private telecommunications firm obtain government contracts in Africa. The ruling on the search does not invalidate that indictment.— Paul Singer
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.