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Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:28 AM

Group sues Senate to scrap filibuster

Source: Politico

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In addition to Common Cause, three DREAM Act students and four House Democrats — Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson, both of Georgia, Michael Michaud of Maine and Keith Ellison of Minnesota — were named as plaintiffs in the suit.

The students, who were born outside the U.S. and brought to the country illegally by their parents, claim they were denied a path to citizenship because of the archaic 1975 filibuster rule. During the 2010 lame-duck session, the DREAM Act, backed by President Barack Obama, won passage in the House and attracted a simple majority of 55 votes in the Senate, but fell short of the 60 needed to break a GOP filibuster.

The Democratic lawmakers argue that their votes in the House have been “diluted” by the filibuster rule, since such bills as the DREAM Act and campaign-finance DISCLOSE Act passed the House and won backing from a majority of senators but fell short of the 60-vote threshold. The DISCLOSE Act garnered 59 votes in the upper chamber.

“These bills continually pass the House and get blocked in the Senate,” said Sarah Dufendach, vice president of legislative affairs for Common Cause, which pushed for the DISCLOSE Act. “Their vote is being diluted. Their constituency is being diluted.”




Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76284.html#ixzz2EfPxQq6b



Senate Filibuster Targeted By House Democrats, Dream Act Activists In Federal Lawsuit

A federal lawsuit claiming the filibuster is an unconstitutional "accident of history" is set to be considered on Monday, months after it was filed by a coalition of House Democrats and activists.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/senate-filibuster-lawsuit_n_2270729.html

23 replies, 2918 views

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Group sues Senate to scrap filibuster (Original post)
kpete Dec 2012 OP
Plucketeer Dec 2012 #1
hobbit709 Dec 2012 #2
Bandit Dec 2012 #3
former9thward Dec 2012 #4
freshwest Dec 2012 #14
LineLineNew Reply +
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #6
rhett o rick Dec 2012 #10
BlueManFan Dec 2012 #5
AlbertCat Dec 2012 #7
harun Dec 2012 #12
mostlyconfused Dec 2012 #15
bemildred Dec 2012 #8
bucolic_frolic Dec 2012 #9
annabanana Dec 2012 #13
ThomThom Dec 2012 #16
bucolic_frolic Dec 2012 #17
ThomThom Dec 2012 #18
graegoyle Dec 2012 #19
ThomThom Dec 2012 #21
annabanana Dec 2012 #11
rachel1 Dec 2012 #20
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Dec 2012 #22
karynnj Dec 2012 #23

Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:39 AM

1. WE

THE PEOPLE need to take the whole damned lot (Congress - Senate - White House) to court. We elect them, pay their wages, tell them what we expect - and get shit on.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:50 AM

2. won't wash.

Only the Senate can determine what their rules are.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:57 AM

3. Not if their rules deny others of some Constitutional guarantees.

We have a Constitutional Right to Representation, and the Senate has rules that tend to deny us that Representation....It will be interesting to see where this goes...Remember Senators are NOT our Representation in Congress. the Senate Represents the States and not the people.....Only our Representatives actually Represent the people and the Senate is currently denying many that Representation...

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Response to Bandit (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:21 PM

4. Your argument went out of date almost 100 years ago.

The 17th amendment provided for direct election of Senators in 1913 instead of being chosen by state legislatures. This lawsuit will not see the inside of a court. It will be thrown out for lack of standing. It is just a publicity stunt.

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Response to Bandit (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:20 PM

14. Agree, but this is more about public perception than technicalities. Applying pressure is good.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:39 PM

6. +

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:04 PM

10. I dont think Senate rules can violate the Constitution. nm

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:24 PM

5. And the Humanoid Turtleman shows no sign of backing down

despite eating a monumental ration of *hit about failing to make Obama a one-term president. Fuck these crybabies!

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:50 PM

7. Tyranny of the majority

The filibuster is designed to avoid that and is actually a good thing....


...WHEN NOT ABUSED

Simply make Senators actually filibuster instead of just threatening to do so and that will solve a huge part of the GOP created problem.

A limit on the number of filibusters one can do in a year/ session/ some time period would make one have to think "Is this worth using up one of our filibusters?"

It's not hard to "fix". But eliminating it is a bad idea.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:10 PM

12. Legislation used to be about governing. It is now about raking in Corpo $$$'s

As the population increases more and more people are represented by the same number of people.

Too many Dem's like hiding behind the GOP filibusters. They won't remove it. However, I sure hope they change it in a big way. I am sure Harry already knows how it will change. Will have to wait and see.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:23 PM

15. Cant' agree more

To those that want to get rid of it, be careful what you wish for. The Dems have a majority today, but what happens if in the future they don't? Any changes that make it easier for Reid to push legislation past Repub opposition today will be equally used to push things past a Dem minority in the future.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:53 PM

8. Yes, it violates the equal protection clause, among others.

Last edited Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:59 PM - Edit history (1)

And there is nothing about it in the Constitution, it's something Congress pulled out of their ass to justify stonewalling reform.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:57 PM

9. Both Parties

will eventually come to regret scrapping the filibuster

There should be limits placed on it,
perhaps seeking to limit use to near its historical average,
or requiring actual filibuster.

It does protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority

But it should also protect the majority from the tyranny of the minority

and not just through compromise on every issue

It should spark debate, enlightenment, wisdom.

If real on the floor filibusters took place, the minority can be
shamed into compromise or acquiescence by appealing to public
opinion. THAT is what is missing here.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:11 PM

13. As the proposal is currently written

(to my understanding) There will be no filibuster on "move to commit" motions, which means that you can't just stifle discussion right out of the gate, and If you call a filibuster, you have to actually FILIBUSTER.. right out there in the open, trying to make your case to the American people.

This all seems prudent, and safe should Dems find themselves in the minority, because Democratic policies are MUCH more popular than repub ones.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:28 PM

16. "tyranny of the majority" in a democracy?

How does that work? This just crazy talk. Majority rules if you don't like it persuade people to your point of view. That is the repubs problem they don't like having minority opinions so they want to push the majority around. We should put things up for a vote and our representatives should stand behind their positions and if the people they represent don't like it, a MAJORITY will vote them out. That is how it works. If you don't like it move to China.

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Response to ThomThom (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:37 PM

17. The Founding Fathers recognized the Tyranny of the Majority

James Madison, Federalist #10.

"The problem of creating a tyranny of the majority was famously recognised way back in 1787 by James Madison, one of America’s Founding Fathers in the essay Federalist No. 10, a reference point for constitutional jurists.

Madison articulated the problem of factions that result within a direct democracy and the risk that if left unchecked, the majority faction could work in ways that are detrimental to the minorities and the aggregate interest of the society as a whole.

He said: “A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischief of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/magaisa66.17832.html

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:08 PM

18. I still say bull shit, the majority today is not out of control

This is right wing crap. They are using to try to maintain some control when they really have known. The founding fathers put everything they could into the Constitution and the rules of the congress to prevent abuse. When we change things like the filibuster (which we changed some years ago) we do it at our own peril. The filibuster was never meant to be used the way it is today. If the Dems ever end up in the minority then they need to respect the rule of the majority and make persuasive arguments to sway people not play tricks with rules to thwart an elected opinion.

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Response to ThomThom (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:48 PM

19. To better understand "Tyranny of the Majority"...

Consider religion: Some people view abortion as a sin in their religion. If a majority of the population wished to outlaw abortion, then the minority would be forced to abide by that law if it is simply majority rule.

The filibuster needs to be amended/restored to having to physically and actually appear in the public forum and show your face to impede the legislature, not this anonymous, no-consequences waste of time that the republicans are pulling now.

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Response to graegoyle (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:03 PM

21. if a majority wanted to go back to a time when abortion was illegal

I as a minority on that, would go back and start making the arguments again that made it legal. I don't think that will happen. I find I am in the minority all the time, my opinions on issues like war for example are something that I am constantly in discussions about with people but that does mean I will suppress them to get my way.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:07 PM

11. I say what the hell.. throw EVERYthing

at the damn thing. Whatever sticks is good with me.

I think the proposals for reform are modest, to the point, and will make a HUGE difference in C-Span viewing. It would be a big mistake for Harry to let this opportunity to pass him by.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:43 PM

20. And common sense would side with them but the corporatists will probably do everything

they can to stop their cause.

Don't be surprised if it's dismissed for whatever stupid reason(s).

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Response to rachel1 (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:53 PM

22. "The corporatists" won't care once they win back the Senate

They'll be all for it, in fact.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:14 PM

23. I think this is a very stupid law suit - and I think the Constitution

gives the Senate the right to define their rules. EVERY law, rule, social convention etc can be seen as an accident of history. I do think that the Democrats need filibuster reform. However, I suspect that if the filibuster were to be found illegal, there is a possibility that the rules return to the "Mr Smith goes to Washington" rules because there would be NO cloture rule - at any number of votes. (Many here have argued for this when we were in the minority, but now we could see that with no cloture vote, even a small group of Republicans could stop anything indefinitely AND prevent the Senate from moving on to anything else.

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