June 26, 2013 |
HOUSTON - In a chaotic late-night scene that played out beneath the Capitol dome in Austin, a Texas lawmaker with pink sneakers and the steely resolve of a branding iron single-handedly stopped an effort to drastically curtail abortion in the Lone Star State. Wendy Davis' filibustered victory, which ricocheted around the world via social media, may prove short-lived. Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday he would reconvene the Legislature on Monday in a second and likely successful attempt to pass the measure.
June 25, 2013 |
HOUSTON -- The Texas state Senate is poised for passage of a sweeping new law that would ban abortions at 20 weeks and force the state's abortion clinics to upgrade or close -- unless Sen. Wendy Davis and her pink sneakers can stand in the way. The 50-year-old legislator from Fort Worth is midway through a marathon filibuster aimed at running out the clock on the current Legislature, which is scheduled to end its special session at midnight with...
June 2, 2013 |
As President Obama prepares to nominate three new judges for what is probably the nation's most important federal appeals court, Republicans in the Senate are escalating their attempts to stand in his way. Last month the Senate unanimously confirmed Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. But the appearances of harmony in that vote are deceiving. Srinivasan, who also served in the Justice Department in the George W. Bush administration, had bipartisan support and was seen as less ideological than some other Obama nominees.
May 17, 2013
Re "Nuking the filibuster," Editorial, May 15 It should be clear by now that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will not do the right thing and fix the filibuster. The Senate will continue to be in gridlock. The Democratic senators wringing their hands over the lack of progress need to be pressuring Reid to get rid of the filibuster. Bob Zwissler Manhattan Beach Let's go a step further: I suggest that we amend the Constitution's advise and consent clause.
May 15, 2013 |
In requiring the U.S. Senate to confirm presidential appointments, the Constitution aims to ensure a second level of scrutiny of the qualifications of government officials. But Senate Republicans have hijacked the confirmation process, not only to thwart individual nominees but to undermine laws they don't agree with. If they continue in their obstructionism, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) should revisit the possibility of doing away with the filibuster for nominations. The most immediate test case involves the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency that moderates disputes between labor and management.
May 2, 2013 |
The U.S. Senate has not conducted any official business this week, so the American people have been at least temporarily protected from its stultifying refusal to represent them well. But the senators will eventually return - and will resume blocking judicial nominees, converting budget disagreements into crises and preventing the enactment of even the most paltry gun restrictions favored by the overwhelming majority of Americans and the clear majority of the Senate itself. This is not the first time in its history that the Senate, by virtue of its rules, has become an impediment to the popular will.
April 17, 2013 |
Patton Oswalt is guest starring in this week's "Parks and Recreation," but the most impressive thing about his appearance is what you won't see on NBC. As part of the episode, Oswalt's character was supposed to appear before a Pawnee City Council meeting and filibuster a proposed vote. Producers invited Oswalt to "ramble a bit about whatever subject he wanted. " Oswalt decided his topic of choice was a pitch for the upcoming "Star Wars Episode VII. " While we wouldn't dream of spoiling the twists and turns the story takes, let's just say that he's found a brilliant way to merge two of the Disney corporation's biggest franchises (and even one they don't own)
April 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate crossed the first of many hurdles Thursday in the drive to pass new gun legislation, with a bipartisan vote to begin what could be weeks of debate on the issue. By a 68-31 margin, senators moved to open formal consideration of a package of reforms to expand background checks, improve school safety and combat gun trafficking. Among Republicans, 16 voted yes, while two Democrats voted no and one did not vote. Next week senators will be able to offer amendments that pose the real test of whether the larger bill will succeed.
April 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate moved Tuesday to begin long-anticipated deliberations this week over new gun laws as Republicans appeared to lack the strength to block the debate and bipartisan talks over expanding background checks on gun buyers appeared to have led to a deal. Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), who have been negotiating a compromise on background checks, scheduled a joint announcement for Wednesday morning at the Capitol. Talks are expected to begin Thursday.
March 22, 2013 |
New York lawyer Caitlin Halligan, who was first nominated to the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., almost 2 1/2 years ago, has asked President Obama to withdraw her nomination. As The Times noted in an editorial today, Halligan was the victim of a Republican filibuster in which all but one of the GOP senators voting refused to cut off debate on her nomination. Had the nomination proceeded to a floor vote, she almost certainly would have been confirmed. Liberals and Democrats will decry the sandbagging of Halligan, who was accused by Republicans of extremism because she once filed suit against gun manufacturers.