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Old 12-10-2012, 11:45 AM  
whoman69 whoman69 is offline
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Senate Filibuster Targeted By House Democrats, Dream Act Activists In Federal Lawsuit

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

By Nick Wing

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.

The plaintiffs, including Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison (Minn.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), John Lewis (Ga.) and Mike Michaud (Maine), as well as a trio of undocumented immigrants represented by government reform group Common Cause, claim that the filibuster is "inconsistent with the principle of majority rule" and had never been contemplated by the drafters of the Constitution. They filed the suit in May, and on Monday will face a motion by Senate lawyers to have the case thrown out.

Filibuster rules grant massive power to Senate minorities by requiring a supermajority of 60 senators to vote to end debate on a bill. Traditionally a rare occurrence, their use has surged since 2009.

"Actual or threatened filibusters have become so common that it is now virtually impossible as a practical matter for the majority in the Senate to pass a significant piece of legislation or to confirm many presidential nominees without 60 votes," argued Emmet Bondurant, a Georgia attorney who represents the challengers, according to NBC News.

In this particular case, Common Cause argues that filibuster rules are preventing Erika Andiola, Celso Mireles and Caesar Vargas -- three young professional undocumented immigrants -- from achieving a "path to American citizenship" offered by the long-stalled Dream Act. The legislation has been filibustered repeatedly by Senate Republicans, most recently in 2010.

The latest legal push against the filibuster comes as Senate Democrats are seeking to reform the procedure through legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has come out aggressively and optimistically in favor of filibuster reform, claiming that the changes will go through in January whether Republicans like it or not. President Barack Obama has embraced Reid's and other Democrats' plans to reform the rules.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2270729.html
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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Can't see how it's justiciable, to be honest. IIRC, it's just an internal procedure of that chamber of Congress.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:06 PM   #3
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What a waste of time.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:12 PM   #4
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Majority rule legislation sucks. Given the ineptitude of this Congress and the Congresses before that got us to where we are today, don't you think that some sort of bigger concensus should be agreed upon before laws were enacted?

Laws already pass WAY to easily. And now we want to give the most inept and power-hungry body in the nation an easier time in creating law?

Yikes

check that

double yikes.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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I'm usually opposed to anything that has the word "activist" involved.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaise View Post
I'm usually opposed to anything that has the word "activist" involved.
How 'bout that trio of "undocumented workers?"
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:23 PM   #7
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Former Senator Byrd disagrees.en.

Quote:
When it comes to the Senate, numbers can deceive. The Senate was never intended to be a majoritarian body. That was the role of the House of Representatives, with its membership based on the populations of states. The Great Compromise of July 16, 1787, satisfied the need for smaller states to have equal status in one House of Congress: the Senate.

The Senate, with its two members per state, regardless of population is, then, the forum of the states. Indeed, in the last Congress, 52 members, a majority, representing the 26 smallest states accounted for just 17.06% of the U.S. population. In other words, a majority in the Senate does not necessarily represent a majority of the population. The Senate is intended for deliberation not point scoring. It is a place designed from its inception, as expressive of minority views. Even 60 Senators, the number required for cloture, would represent just 24% of the population, if they happened to all hail from the 30 smallest states. Unfettered debate, the right to be heard at length, is the means by which we perpetuate the equality of the states.

Byrd delivered this speech on March 1, 2005.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig4/byrd7.html
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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So instead we have a system where the minority can hold the agenda for ransom. We have a system where the minority can impede the agenda by putting a 60 % margin for passage on any legislature. We have government crippled with only one agenda on the table for a whole year and then at the end of it the minority claiming they didn't have time to read the legislation that took an entire year to write. We have a system where the minority leader filibustered his own bill. We have a system where authors of the Veterans Jobs Bill voted to table their own bill because the President spoke out in favor of it. We have a system where the last Congress passed less legislation than any Congress going back to WWII with the entire nation on a wartime footing. We have a system where the government was not able to act to combat the largest recession since the great depression because Republicans wanted to make the President a one term president. In short we have gridlock at historical levels. We have a tyranny of the minority because of a rule developed by that great American Aaron Burr.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:48 PM   #9
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I would ask Sen. Byrd how many times the smallest states voted as a block as he suggests against the bigger states?

If it was not set up for simple majority why was there a majority system in place until 1806 and the filibuster not added to Senate rules until 1917?

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always the case where more than a majority is requisite to a decision), is, in its tendency, to subject the sense of the greater number to that of the lesser.” - Alexander Hamilton
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Quote:
Originally posted by Logical
When the boobs are a bouncin, the Chiefs will be trouncin
What the Raiders fan has said is true, our customs are different. What Al Davis has said is unimportant, and we do not hear his words.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donkhater View Post
Majority rule legislation sucks. Given the ineptitude of this Congress and the Congresses before that got us to where we are today, don't you think that some sort of bigger concensus should be agreed upon before laws were enacted?

Laws already pass WAY to easily. And now we want to give the most inept and power-hungry body in the nation an easier time in creating law?

Yikes

check that

double yikes.
Not true at all. The last Congress enacted less legislation than any since the nation was deep in WWII.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Logical
When the boobs are a bouncin, the Chiefs will be trouncin
What the Raiders fan has said is true, our customs are different. What Al Davis has said is unimportant, and we do not hear his words.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoman69 View Post
So instead we have a system where the minority can hold the agenda for ransom. We have a system where the minority can impede the agenda by putting a 60 % margin for passage on any legislature. We have government crippled with only one agenda on the table for a whole year and then at the end of it the minority claiming they didn't have time to read the legislation that took an entire year to write. We have a system where the minority leader filibustered his own bill. We have a system where authors of the Veterans Jobs Bill voted to table their own bill because the President spoke out in favor of it. We have a system where the last Congress passed less legislation than any Congress going back to WWII with the entire nation on a wartime footing. We have a system where the government was not able to act to combat the largest recession since the great depression because Republicans wanted to make the President a one term president. In short we have gridlock at historical levels. We have a tyranny of the minority because of a rule developed by that great American Aaron Burr.
For a guy whose party has been in power for the past several years and whose POTUS candidate just won a second term, you sure are a cry baby.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoman69 View Post
I would ask Sen. Byrd how many times the smallest states voted as a block as he suggests against the bigger states?

If it was not set up for simple majority why was there a majority system in place until 1806 and the filibuster not added to Senate rules until 1917?
The filibuster existed in the Senate for over a century before the rule change of 1917. In fact, it only took a single Senator to maintain a filibuster before it was watered down by the 1917 rule. The current cloture rules are the most majority friendly rules since 1806 and you want to water them down even further simply because your party can't find a leader who can forge a consensus with just a few opposition party members. What a bunch of failures.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:41 PM   #13
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I don't like, or believe in the filibuster. I've argued about its useless stupidity many times.

This lawsuit is garbage. The filibuster only exists because a majority of the senate wants it to exist. The MICROSECOND that 51 senators decide not to respect the filibuster, then *poof* it'll be gone.

No one should ever take "well we got filibustered" as an acceptable answer. If the party you prefer is in power, they have the votes for what you want, no excuses, they should pass it. Any time something the majority wants is filibustered, its because they were too damned gutless and cowardly to get rid of the filibuster. There's no case here.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:53 PM   #14
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That's a lie in the OP. Those three people have to live here five years and have to apply to become Citizens. There is a path. Good grief.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
The filibuster existed in the Senate for over a century before the rule change of 1917. In fact, it only took a single Senator to maintain a filibuster before it was watered down by the 1917 rule. The current cloture rules are the most majority friendly rules since 1806 and you want to water them down even further simply because your party can't find a leader who can forge a consensus with just a few opposition party members. What a bunch of failures.
Heard you whining Democrats blocking Bush's judicial nominations when filibuster levels were a fraction of what we see now.

You lie. Republicans changed the rules before they lost power to the current system where you only have to state intent to filibuster and can do so to both block discussion of a bill and then block voting on the bill. Reid was stupid to allow those rules to continue on a handshake and now you criticize him when he wants to go back to the old way.

You're just a Republican shill if you can say they have done anything but abuse the system the last six years.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Logical
When the boobs are a bouncin, the Chiefs will be trouncin
What the Raiders fan has said is true, our customs are different. What Al Davis has said is unimportant, and we do not hear his words.
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