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Tue May 15, 2012, 12:06 PM

Common Cause Seeks End to Republicans’ Use of Filibuster [View all]

By Jonathan D. Salant - Tue May 15 04:00:01 GMT 2012

Common Cause, a Washington-based watchdog organization, is asking a federal court to overturn the Senate filibuster, which Republicans have used more since Democrats captured the chamber in 2007.

The group, in a lawsuit filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Washington, cited the Senate’s inability to muster 60 votes to clear legislation allowing children of undocumented immigrants to become legal U.S. residents if they go to college or join the U.S. armed forces, and to pass legislation requiring nonprofit groups that run political ads to disclose their donors. Both bills passed the House and received a majority of votes in the Senate.

“While the Senate can set its own rules, they can’t be unconstitutional,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar, a former Democratic U.S. representative from Pennsylvania. “This is an unconstitutional provision. A minority of senators representing a minority of the population of the nation can in fact rule with the current system.”

Requiring a supermajority of 60 votes on legislation rather than 51 votes has become more commonplace.



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