Censure Law and Legal Definition

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.

In canon law, censure refers to the process by which a cleric is deprived, entirely or partially of the use of the power of orders, office, or benefice. Ecclesiastical censures are medicinal and spiritual punishments imposed by the Church on a baptized, delinquent, and contemptable person, by which he is deprived, either wholly of in part, of the use of certain spiritual goods, until he recover from his conempt. Theological censures are doctrinal judgments by which the Church stigmatizes certain teachings detrimental to faith or morals.