Edwards v. VesilindAnnotate this Case
Plaintiffs brought an action against the Virginia State Board of Elections, the Department of Elections, and various officers in their official capacities, alleging that eleven districts were unconstitutional and seeking to enjoin the use of the current district map in future elections. Subpoenas duces tecum were served upon several members of the General Assembly (the Virginia Senators) and the Division of Legislative Services (DLS) demanding production of certain documents and communications. Claiming legislative privilege, the Virginia Senators and DLS (collectively, Appellants) filed motions to quash. The circuit court denied the motion to quash, holding that the legislative privilege does not extend to DLS or to documents and communications between members of the General Assembly and consultants, DLS, or other third parties. When Appellants refused to comply with the production order, the court held Appellants in civil contempt. The Supreme Court vacated the portion of the order holding Appellants in contempt, holding that the circuit court abused its discretion by holding Appellants in contempt because the material sought in the subpoenas duces tecum were protected by the legislative privilege.