Interruption of speaker
A senator who is speaking in debate may not be interrupted by another senator except to call attention to:
- a point of order
- a question of privilege suddenly arising in relation to the proceedings before the Senate
- the lack of a quorum.
When a question of order or a matter of privilege is raised in this way, the business before the Senate is suspended until the chair determines the question. This procedure is seldom invoked in relation to a matter of privilege, and is usually used to raise a point of order arising out of the remarks of the senator speaking. When a point of order is raised the senator speaking sits down. The President may hear argument from senators on the point of order, and may determine it forthwith or at a later time.
Time taken in raising and determining a point of order does not come out of the time for a senator to speak or the time for a debate.
For the calling of quorums, see Chapter 8, Conduct of Proceedings, under Quorum.
The procedures of the Senate do not allow a motion that a senator be no longer heard. Such motions are used in the House of Representatives to "gag" individual speakers even though they have the call from the chair to speak.