Skip to main content

Bender quoted in article discussing legislative immunity

March 14, 2011

Paul Bender, Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus, was quoted in a March 5 Arizona Republic article titled, “Arizona Senator Bundgaard freeway incident stirs debate,” by reporter Mary K. Reinhart.

The article focused on the debate surrounding a recent incident involving Bundgaard in which police said he used legislative immunity in order to avoid arrest after a dispute with his girlfriend. The article also discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings, in 1908 and 1934, which said legislative privilege was meant only to prevent arrests in civil cases. Some experts argued that the rulings have shown that legislative immunity doesn’t apply to legislators’ criminal acts.

Bender claimed that the Supreme Court cases didn’t matter, as the Arizona Supreme Court can, and has, deviated from federal rulings.

"This is an individual-rights case," Bender said. "There's nothing in the U.S. Constitution stopping Arizona from giving its legislators a larger privilege from arrest."

To read the entire article, click here.

Bender teaches courses on U.S. and Arizona constitutional law. He has written extensively about constitutional law, intellectual property and Indian law, and is co-author of the two-volume casebook/treatise, Political and Civil Rights in the United States. Bender has argued more than 20 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and actively participates in constitutional litigation in federal and state courts.

Staci McCabe,
(480) 965-8702
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law