A judge has refused to dismiss a federal lawsuit accusing Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of discriminating against and mocking a disabled staffer — charges the Texas Democrat denies.
The two-year old suit, first reported by The Washington Times in 2011, was filed by former legislative director Mona Floyd, who declined to comment Tuesday. Ms. Floyd said in court papers that Mrs. Jackson Lee, a 10-term congresswoman from Houston, refused to accommodate her debilitating eye condition called monocular vision.
“I don’t care anything about your disability,” the complaint quotes the congresswoman as saying.
Mrs. Jackson Lee’s legal team sought to have the complaint dismissed, arguing in part that actions concerning her staff are protected under the Speech or Debate clause of the Constitution. In a lengthy ruling, the judge disagreed.
“Decisions about whether to allow an employee to rest or to have additional time to complete an assignments are not legislative acts for which the representative enjoys constitutional immunity from suit,” U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras wrote in a Sept. 30 opinion.