Texas Democratic Senator Wendy Davis’ nine-hour filibuster may be becoming to a quick end – and not due to the senator’s lack of effort.CNN:
Lieutenant Gov. David Dewhurst ruled that Davis has three times violated the Texas Senate’s procedural rules for a filibuster, which requires a senator to stand continually without assistance and remain on topic.
“There’s a three strikes, you’re out precedent in the Senate that allows senators two warnings about staying germane to the bill topic,” Texas Tribune reporter Becca Aaronson explains. “On the third strike, a simple majority of the Senate can vote to end debate and the senator must yield the floor.”
The Texas legislature's special session ended in chaos and confusion early Wednesday, when a marathon filibuster failed -- but so did a Republican effort to pass a bill that would have greatly restricted abortions in the state.More discussion in OllieGarkey's diary. More politics and policy below the fold.
Gridlock is, in many ways, a mistaken metaphor for what happens when Congress can’t act. In gridlock, as any Beltway driver knows, nothing moves. But much happens amidst congressional gridlock. It just happens in other, often less accountable, branches of government.One major difference between Ds and Rs is that D's want to fix Congress, R's like it broken.
The result is the Supreme Court rewrites laws Congress passed, like the Voting Rights Act. The regulatory apparatus decides how carbon will be regulated, an issue that Congress clearly has the power, under normal conditions, to decide. The Federal Reserve plays a more active role in managing the economy — Chairman Ben Bernanke is, at this point, famous for begging Congress to do more with fiscal policy so he can do less with monetary policy. During periods of gridlock, Congress cedes power to other branches that would otherwise give it deference.
In a January 2012 report titled “Jihadism on the Web: A Breeding Ground for Jihad in the Modern Age,” the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service drew a convincing picture of an Islamist Web underground centered around “core forums.” These websites are part of the Deep Web, or Undernet, the multitude of online resources not indexed by commonly used search engines.NY Times editorial board:
The conservative majority on the Roberts Court issued another damaging and intellectually dishonest ruling on Tuesday. It eviscerated enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, in which Congress kept the promise of a vote for every citizen. But it did not rule on the constitutional validity of the idea that some places have such strong records of discrimination that they must seek federal approval before they may change their voting rules. Instead, the 5-to-4 ruling usurped Congress’s power and struck down the formula that it has repeatedly reauthorized to determine which states fall into that category.Scott Lemieux:
As Aaron B.puts it in comments, this is an honest-to-goodness fair summary of Roberts’s holding:Richard Hasen:
Section 4 is not rationally crafted to achieve permissible ends as defined by the 15th amendment. It was, at one point, but since racism is fixed it is no longer necessary and therefore irrational.Which, leaving aside the obvious problems so memorably characterized by Ginsburg with the assumption that because preclearance has been effective racism is pretty much over, is just wrong for the reasons already discussed.
Today’s decision has real consequences. Chief Justice Roberts writes that ”regardless” of how we look at the record, “no one can fairly say it shows anything approaching the ‘pervasive,’ ‘flagrant,’ ‘widespread,’ and ‘rampant’ discrimination” in the past. If that’s true, it’s because the Voting Rights Act works.
Here’s what’s going to happen now. Texas has already announced that it will put its voter-ID law into effect, a law that was on hold under Section 5 awaiting Supreme Court review. Texas’ law, one of the toughest in the nation, requires voters lacking acceptable ID (like a concealed-weapons permit) to travel up to 250 miles at their own expense to get one.
Texas’ law will be challenged on other grounds, but winning voter-ID cases has proved to be tough business. Now Texas can also re-redistrict, freed of the constraints of Section 5, splitting Latino and black voters into different districts or shoving them all in fewer districts to make it harder for them to have effective representation in the State Legislature and in Congress. The biggest danger of what the court has done is in local jurisdictions, where discrimination is more common and legal resources to fight back are thin.