The is quite a bit of talk of there being a filibuster in the senate to delay the confirmation of the current supreme court nominee.

Please correct us if our understanding of the process is incomplete or wrong.

It works like this:

Any senator can speak for as long as he/she wants

The senator cannot sit down or leave the senate floor even momentarily

The senator can yield the floor but must remain in attendance

The senator can only take the floor one time to speak about an item under debate

In practicality that means that each senator might be able to filibuster for about 24 hours before nature’s call requires them to quit.

The senator is entitled to a quorum of the senate and may call for a confirmation of there being a quorum at any time.  That means that at least 51 senators need to be in their seats throughout the process.  Otherwise the senator that is filibustering can take a break until there is a quorum.

Keeping the other senators from going home will not go far to engender feelings of good will.

Short term

The long and the short of the issue is that the filibuster cannot last forever.

However while it is going on the senate cannot get anything done.

To some of us that would be a good thing.

It looks like the nominee will be confirmed eventually.

We deserve better


7 Responses to Filibuster

  1. Reality Checker says:

    Filibusters are the least of our worries. Yesterday, the majority party went so far as to kill free speech on the Senate floor. That’s a dangerous precedent.


  2. Democrats changed Senate filibuster rule in 2013 says:

    Democrats changed Senate rules in 2013 when they were in control to prevent Republican filibusters. The rule is apparently still in place so now they too no longer have the option to filibuster


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