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Filibuster

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NEWS
December 3, 2003
ARTICLE II of the Constitution states in part: "The President . . . shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint . . . Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States. " The current filibuster rules being used to block a vote on President Bush's judicial nominees is perverting the intention of the Framers and therefore is unconstitutional. Nothing in the Constitution or amendments requires a super-majority to bring a filibuster to closure.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By John Samples
The U.S. Senate has long promised and tolerated unlimited debate on legislation. It's only with 60 votes that the Senate's "cloture" rule can be invoked to stop debate and require a vote. In practice, that means that 41 senators can block most action by threatening to prolong debate, or filibuster. But now some senators and outside interests want to allow debate to be cut off by a simple majority, eliminating the filibuster. The desire for change comes from partisan passions and recent frustrations.
NEWS
May 24, 2005
THE MEDIA WON'T say it, but the Democratic filibuster - which may be moot by the time this is printed - is all about abortion. When New York Sen. Charles Shumer says, "We won't stand for judges who won't enforce the law," he's talking about the law that binds his like-minded Washington tenants to their landlords at Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women. To this pack of wolves in sheep's clothing, abortion is more than the "law of the land," it is the pillar on which their sacred "sexual revolution" teeters.
NEWS
February 11, 2010
WHERE WAS the Daily News when the Democrats were using the filibuster to stop President Bush's nominees and Republican bills from being acted on? The DN and the Democrats never once raised their voices about the abuse of the filibuster by Democrats on Republican bills. We Republicans will stand in the well of the Senate and explain why we're against bills that come up if given a chance by the Democratic majority. We never said we'll filibuster a bill that we had a chance to have some input on. So let us have it, and maybe we can get something done for the country.
NEWS
March 14, 2005
Chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease hasn't stopped Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) from performing admirably in his first few weeks as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Specter is displaying a gritty determination to prevent the Senate from imploding over the partisan issue of judicial nominations. That's no easy task, especially for someone who was savaged by the Republican right before he even got the gavel. President Bush handed Specter's committee a slate of conservative judicial candidates to which Democrats already had objected.
NEWS
April 28, 2005 | By TIMOTHY NOAH
I STAND WITH Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in favoring elimination of the filibuster. The filibuster is anti-democratic because it thwarts the will of the Senate majority by routinely requiring a 60-vote supermajority to bring legislation and nominations to the Senate floor. What I can't figure out is why the Christian right is for it. Support for the filibuster, remember, is premised on the idea that the government shouldn't be susceptible to the tyranny of the majority.
NEWS
July 18, 1994 | By ROBERT RENO
I'd sooner expect to find as principled and upright a gentlewoman as Sen. Nancy Kassebaum wallowing in a hog pen than leading a filibuster of the sort once used to block legislation that would have granted black people equal access to the drinking fountains of the old South. It is with this squalid history of the filibuster in mind that those who undertake to make use of it ought to take excruciating care in the selection of those issues worthy of invoking it as a tool for frustrating majority votes in the Senate.
NEWS
May 13, 2005
Republican senators who are pushing for an ill-advised change in how the Senate votes on judicial nominations are displaying embarrassingly short memories. They want, in such instances, to do away with an age-old Senate procedure called the filibuster. They say every potential judge deserves an up-or-down vote. Democrats have used the filibuster, or unlimited debate, to block 10 of President Bush's 229 judicial nominations. The GOP's argument conveniently ignores all the tactics Republicans used to deny votes for the judicial nominations of Democrat Bill Clinton.
NEWS
March 30, 2005
As we tell Iraq how to run a democracy, we should be a good role model. It is totally undemocractic for the Republicans to try to silence debate and opposition by trying to eliminate the filibuster during the debates about court appointments. The filibuster ensures debate on every issue. This is the legislature trying to take over the courts by eliminating discussion. Kathryn Mason Philadelphia
NEWS
December 12, 2012
If Congress is ever going to cross its mind-numbing partisan divide, the Senate must change rules that have allowed abusive stall tactics to undermine meaningful legislation and left Americans wondering if anything will ever get done in Washington. In the last six years, Republicans have used the parliamentary procedure called a filibuster almost 400 times to hobble legislation. That is about twice as many times as the tactic to prevent a vote was invoked in the previous six years. Republicans have even filibustered simple procedural motions to discuss or amend a bill.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
December 2, 2013
Council chores first In a city with so many problems, I find it outrageous that Councilman David Oh and most of his peers are considering a charter change that would let them run for higher office while on Council ("Resign-to-run change gains in City Council," Nov. 23). Before they figuratively line up again at the trough, Council members should devote themselves to efforts that promote growth and prosperity in Philadelphia. They should rethink the business-killing tax structure that has robbed us of so many employers, buy down the staggering pension-fund deficit and rethink pensions for new hires, design a public education system that works, and streamline a government that has nearly as many employees as when 2 million people lived here.
NEWS
July 19, 2013
Watching lawmakers work is like watching sausages being made, according to a musing often attributed to Otto von Bismarck, the 19th-century German chancellor. Avoid it if you can. There certainly was nothing pretty in the way the Senate finally confirmed Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But the country will be better off as a result. Cordray was in limbo for two years as Republicans challenged his recess appointment by President Obama. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments that the Senate was not really in recess during the appointment because a Republican showed up every three days to convene it. Of course, Republicans took the opposite point of view when Senate Democrats were in the minority.
NEWS
July 17, 2013 | By David Espo, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A showdown looming, Republicans and Democrats groped for a compromise behind closed doors Monday over confirming stalled White House appointees in a dispute that threatened what little bipartisan cooperation remains in the Senate. Nearly all 100 senators attended the rare closed-door meeting in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, just down the hall from where they normally debate the issues of the day with the public and news media in attendance. After two hours, Sen. Pat Roberts (R., Kan.)
NEWS
June 28, 2013 | By Jim Vertuno and Will Weissert, Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas - As she spoke late into the night, railing against proposed abortion restrictions, a former teen mom catapulted from little-known junior Texas state senator to national political superstar in pink running shoes. Wendy Davis needed last-minute help from shrieking supporters to run out the clock on the special session of the state Legislature and kill the contentious and sweeping bill, but her old-fashioned filibuster earned her widespread praise from fellow abortion-rights supporters - including a salute from President Obama.
NEWS
June 26, 2013 | By Jim Vertuno and Will Weissert, Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas - Texas' lieutenant governor late Tuesday suspended a senator's filibuster against wide-ranging abortion restrictions, but Democrats moved quickly to appeal the decision and set off a parliamentary fight over the rules. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, after determining that Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis strayed off the topic when she talked about a sonogram bill passed in 2011 and how the new abortion restrictions only compounded the antiabortion laws in Texas. Democrats immediately appealed the decision and set off a heated debate.
NEWS
April 11, 2013 | By Ed O'Keefe and David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The Senate is poised to begin the most wide-ranging and ambitious battle over gun control on Capitol Hill in 20 years, with a vote scheduled Thursday that would formally start the debate. News of that vote was a boost for the Obama administration, which has lobbied hard for increased background checks on potential gun buyers, and new limits on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines. All will face heavy opposition from the National Rifle Association and its Capitol Hill allies in both parties.
NEWS
March 18, 2013 | By Charles Krauthammer
In choice of both topic and foil, Rand Paul's now legendary Senate filibuster was a stroke of political genius. The topic was, ostensibly, very narrow: Does the president have the constitutional authority to put a drone-launched Hellfire missile through your kitchen - you, a good citizen of Topeka to whom POTUS might have taken a dislike - while you're cooking up a pot roast? The constituency of those who could not give this question a straight answer is exceedingly small. Unfortunately, among them is Attorney General Eric Holder.
NEWS
March 8, 2013 | By Richard Lardner, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A Republican critic of the Obama administration's drone policy mounted a filibuster Wednesday to block Senate confirmation of John Brennan to take over as CIA director. Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) took the floor shortly before noon. With intermittent support from other conservatives, plus Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Paul spoke almost continuously for five hours before Majority Leader Harry Reid tried but failed to move to a vote on Brennan. Paul resumed his oration, snacking on candy at the dinner hour while continuing to speak.
NEWS
February 22, 2013
YESTERDAY, on this page, former Gov. Ed Rendell called out Pennsylvania's members of Congress to answer some hard questions about what they will do to move on reducing gun violence. These are Sen. Bob Casey's answers to those questions. In the next week, we'll feature answers from other members of Congress. 1. Will you support mandatory universal background checks? Casey: Yes. 2. Will you support stronger laws to stop straw-purchase gun traffickers? Casey: Yes, there's a way to do that, though there's no bill to do that.
NEWS
February 21, 2013 | BY EDWARD G. RENDELL
IN WHAT WAS clearly the emotional high point of his State of the Union speech last week, President Obama, citing many victims of horrific gun violence, told Congress that "they deserve a vote!" He was referring to legislation that would offer the American people various protective measures that would reduce the frequency of gun violence. His message was that Congress shouldn't filibuster or bottle up this legislation - that it should at least have the decency to bring it to the floor for a vote.
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