It sez here:
Censure refers to the official reprimand of a legislative of other formal body of one of its own members. The term censure, unlike the term expel, does not appear in the Constitution, although the authority is derived from the same clause “ Article I, Section 5, clause 2, concerning the authority of each House of Congress to punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour. Censure, reprimand, or admonition are traditional ways in which parliamentary bodies have disciplined their members and maintained order and dignity in their proceedings. In the House of Representatives, a censure is a formal vote by the majority of members present and voting on a resolution disapproving a member’s conduct, with generally the additional requirement that the member stand at the well of the House chamber to receive a verbal rebuke and reading of the censure resolution by the Speaker of the House.
Here’s the video of Rep. Wilson of South Carolina yelling “You lie!” at the President of the United States during a Joint Session of Congress:
“Disorderly behaviour”? Check. The rules of the House specifically forbid even referring the President as a “liar” in the course of debate. This, of course, was much worse.
“Well of the House”? Pass the popcorn! And of course all the Republicans in the House are perfectly free to vote against censure, thus implicitly endorsing the practice of insulting the President. Somehow I don’t think that will go down very well with independent voters.
Who will file the resolution? A censure motion, if memory serves, is a privileged motion and takes precedence over other business.
Update Apparently someone told Wilson that he’d stepped over the line.
This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.
Fine. The President should accept the apology. Wilson should also be given the opportunity to apologize to his colleagues for his breach of their rules: from the Well of the House, after the Speaker has delivered a formal rebuke.
Second update According to Dana Milbank, there was lots of Animal House behavior from the Republican side of the aisle. I guess they were patriotically helping the President illustrate his point about the lack of civility in the debate.