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US Senate Democrats vote to change filibuster rules

You may find this brief history of the US Senate's filibuster fight timely and interesting, as the chamber just voted to end it for "executive branch and judicial nominees, except for the Supreme Court."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 21, 2013 - 163 comments

Pro-Choice Filibuster in the Texas Senate

It began with a special session called by Governor Rick Perry, who put abortion restrictions on the table. SB5 bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requires facilities that perform them to conform to new restrictions. The practical effect would close most of the abortion facilities in Texas. Then came the People's Filibuster, a mass protest designed to run out the clock and prevent the bill from being passed. It didn't work. The bill passed the House and went to the Senate. But today, Texas Senator Wendy Davis began a 13-hour filibuster to stop the bill. [more inside]
posted by emjaybee on Jun 25, 2013 - 1706 comments

Why we're screwed

Why the American political system is so dysfunctional today "But what is most striking is that in a presidential system, the legislators, especially when they represent cohesive, disciplined parties that offer clear ideological and political alternatives, can also claim democratic legitimacy. This claim is thrown into high relief when a majority of the legislature represents a political option opposed to the one the president represents. Under such circumstances, who has the stronger claim to speak on behalf of the people: the president or the legislative majority that opposes his policies? Since both derive their power from the votes of the people in a free competition among well-defined alternatives, a conflict is always possible and at times may erupt dramatically. There is no democratic principle on the basis of which it can be resolved, and the mechanisms the constitution might provide are likely to prove too complicated and aridly legalistic to be of much force in the eyes of the electorate." [more inside]
posted by bookman117 on May 2, 2013 - 93 comments

Mr. Paul Goes To Washington

Rand Paul Has Started What Could Be an Epic Mr. Smith-Style Filibuster on the Senate Floor. Rand Paul is filibustering John Brennan's nomination to lead the CIA (USA Today). He started at 11:45 AM on Wednesday morning and is still going strong. ""I'm going to speak as long as I can to draw attention to something I find very disturbing," said Paul, who started speaking at 11:45 a.m." Here is a link to the live feed from C-SPAN. [more inside]
posted by bq on Mar 6, 2013 - 414 comments

The Devil Soldier

In 1859 an American named Frederick Townsend Ward arrived in Shanghai. A sailor, mercenary, smuggler and filibuster, he created a force of Europeans to protect the city from, and engage directly in, the Taiping Rebellion against the Qing Dynasty, to avoid the complications of Western powers getting directly involved. After a severe defeat at Sungkiang/Songjiang, he decided to recruit from the local Chinese population instead, arming and training them in the Western fashion. This force was dubbed the 'Ever-Victorious Army.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 10, 2012 - 10 comments

WTF, Senate?

Filibustery, making the filibuster — and the proposals in the U.S. Senate to reform it — more understandable. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jan 31, 2011 - 5 comments

I am simply here today to take as long as I can

Since 10:24 AM ET, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has held "a filibuster [or] a very long speech" on the tax cut deal brokered between the president and congressional Republicans. Watch it live on C-SPAN 2. Vermont's Peter Welch leads the charge against the deal in the House. The President has called his opponents "sanctimonious" and "unrealistic."
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Dec 10, 2010 - 364 comments

a very long article

How America Can Rise Again by James Fallows
Is America going to hell? After a year of economic calamity that many fear has sent us into irreversible decline, the author finds reassurance in the peculiarly American cycle of crisis and renewal, and in the continuing strength of the forces that have made the country great: our university system, our receptiveness to immigration, our culture of innovation. In most significant ways, the U.S. remains the envy of the world. But here's the alarming problem: our governing system is old and broken and dysfunctional. Fixing it—without resorting to a constitutional convention or a coup—is the key to securing the nation's future. (via|previously)
posted by kliuless on Jan 6, 2010 - 61 comments

Obstructacular.

"If this pace of blocking legislation continues, this 110th Congress will be on track to roughly triple the previous record". Ah, for the halcyon days of yore, when obstuctionism was so obviously unconstitutional that it required a nuclear response.
posted by Flunkie on Jul 20, 2007 - 23 comments

Media Blacklists Net-based Filibuster Push

Media outraced by Bloggers, Kerry appeal to netroots galvanizes suprise drive against Alito On Google News, you'll read how US Democratic Senators Obama and Biden are against a filibuster. Old news. They've agreed to support it. Encouraged by direct appeals by Senators. Kerry and Kennedy to internet activists, a blizzard of calls, emails, and faxes, organized via the Daily Kos and other blogs - with tactical direction from Kennedy - have helped flip the positions of several Democratic senators, and as of Saturday some claimed the push was already within 2 votes of forcing continued Senate debate on the Alito nomination. In fact, the pro-filibuster bloc might have started with 37 votes Meanwhile, today, Morning Edition, which declined to run the filibuster push as a top story and failed to mention the internet effort, asked Senator Kennedy on Senator Hillary Clinton's opposition to the filibuster: actually, she joined the effort last Friday [ see main link ] : D'oh !
posted by troutfishing on Jan 30, 2006 - 236 comments

Intresting.

The Nuclear Option has been avoided. A handfull of senators have reached an agreement killing the nuclear option, and limiting the future Filibuster to "extraordinary circumstances".
posted by delmoi on May 24, 2005 - 79 comments

...concerns about Owen go to the heart of what makes a good judge...

Meet Priscilla Owen, 2-time nominee for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Senate nuclear option trigger, and "activist judge" who White House Counsel Gonzales himself criticized ...for "an unconscionable act of judicial activism" in seeking to restrict a minor's right to an abortion. ...

This PDF from People for the American Way goes case-by-case to paint a damning picture: It focuses not only on the evidence from Justice Owen’s dissenting opinions that she is a right wing judicial activist, but also on the fact that this conclusion is established by the criticism often leveled at her by her conservative colleagues on the Court, particularly including Alberto Gonzales. Indeed, during the relatively brief time that they served together on the Court, Gonzales wrote or joined numerous opinions sharply criticizing opinions written or joined by Owen. This report also addresses Justice Owen’s failure at her confirmation hearing to dispel the serious concerns that had been raised about her record. For the reasons we discuss below, the Judiciary Committee made the correct decision in refusing to confirm Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit. It should make the same decision again.
posted by amberglow on May 18, 2005 - 30 comments

oh the past, the past

The Filibuster and Fortas The republicans have been saying for weeks (or is it months?) that the "nuclear option" is justified because democrats did the unprecedented and threatened to filibuster judicial nominees. For weeks (or is it months?) many journalists and bloggers and average folks like myself have accepted the premise of this argument, while disaggreeing with its conclusion. Trouble is, it's just not true. (And there's video too, if I you want it...) Here's the wiki on Abe Fortas, a man I personally knew too little about before this. A man who resigned from the Supreme Court in scandal. He was also the same man who picked up Gideon's Trumpet.
posted by jann on May 3, 2005 - 11 comments

Filibustering The Frist Center

Princeton Students and Polticians Stage Filibuster -- Princeton students started a filibuster at the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University to protest the impending unloading of the "nuclear option" in the United States Senate. Bill Frist is a Princeton alum and his family donated the building the filibuster is in front of. It's been going on for a whopping 78 hours already and looks to at least go through the weekend. Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) spoke earlier today, and NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora was there yesterday. They've even got physicists (one and two) and a Nobel Prize winner.
posted by nathanrudy on Apr 29, 2005 - 20 comments

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