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Virginia GOP state senator sues after being censured by colleagues

Virginia GOP state senator sues after being censured by colleagues
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Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase (R) filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against the state Senate after its members voted to censure her for her apparent support of rioters involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, The Associated Press reported.

The Virginia State Senate voted 24-9 to censure Chase, a gubernatorial candidate, last week after she appeared to voice support for the rioters by calling them “patriots” while defending Ashli Babbit, a woman who was fatally shot by Capitol Police during the attack. 

Chase attended the pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., that preceded the riot, though she is not believed to have been among the mob that broke into the Capitol.

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“The inflammatory statements and actions of Senator Amanda F. Chase during her tenure in the Senate of Virginia have created and aggravated tensions, misled constituents and citizens, and obstructed the Senate’s business in service of the Commonwealth,” read the resolution, which was passed last week.

Chase alleged in her lawsuit that she was being “singled out and selectively penalized for taking unpopular political positions” and said she had suffered “public embarrassment, humiliation, mental anguish and loss of seniority” due to the censure, according to the AP. 

Chase is asking that a judgement be issued stating that her First Amendment rights have been violated and has also requested that her seniority rank be reinstated. 

The censure resolution also stated that Chase had posted the contact information for General Assembly colleagues whose votes she disagreed with.

State Sen. John Bell (D), who sponsored the resolution, said that Chase was free to pursue a lawsuit, according to the AP, but said he was sure her suit would be denied in court.