General Assembly member; legislative standing to defend laws of the Commonwealth. (HB706)

Introduced By

Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock) with support from co-patron Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Legislative standing to defend laws of the Commonwealth. Provides that a member of the General Assembly has standing to represent the interests of the Commonwealth in a proceeding in which the constitutionality, legality, or application of a law established under legislative authority is at issue and the Governor and Attorney General choose not to defend the law. The bill contains an emergency clause. Read the Bill »


02/21/2014: Failed to Pass in Committee


01/07/2014Prefiled and ordered printed with emergency clause; offered 01/08/14 14102264D
01/07/2014Referred to Committee on Rules
01/17/2014Referred from Rules
01/17/2014Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/24/2014Reported from Courts of Justice with amendments (13-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
01/28/2014Read first time
01/29/2014Passed by for the day
01/30/2014Passed by for the day
01/31/2014Read second time
01/31/2014Committee amendments rejected
01/31/2014Floor substitute printed 14104529D-H1 (Marshall, R.G.)
01/31/2014Substitute by Delegate Marshall, R.G. agreed to 14104529D-H1
01/31/2014Emergency clause deleted
01/31/2014Pending question ordered
01/31/2014Engrossed by House - floor substitute HB706H1
02/03/2014Read third time and passed House (65-Y 32-N)
02/03/2014VOTE: PASSAGE (65-Y 32-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2014Impact statement from DPB (HB706)
02/03/2014Impact statement from DPB (HB706H1)
02/04/2014Constitutional reading dispensed
02/04/2014Referred to Committee on Rules
02/21/2014Passed by indefinitely in Rules (12-Y 4-N)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 40 minutes.


Tim Turner writes:

I do not support HB706. It is NOT the duty of the legislatures to perform the job of the attorney general. When the attorney general declines to defend the Virginia Constitution he has violated his oath of office: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon me as .......... according to the best of my ability, (so help me God)." and I would expect my elected representative to pursue his removal from office per the Virginia code for neglect of duty.

§ 24.2-233. Removal of elected and certain appointed officers by courts.

Upon petition, a circuit court may remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court:

1. For neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office, or