liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Senate Rules

In the article, Democrats, GOP End Talks On Filibusters, on May 17, 2005, Washington Post staff writers Shailagh Murray and Dan Balz write:
It usually takes 60 votes to shut off debate in the Senate, but the change contemplated by the Republicans would allow a simple majority to stop a filibuster on judicial nominations.
They fail to mention, as do most corporate media reporting on this issue, not to mention the Republican party spokespersons informing the public, that 60 votes is the requirement to end debate on a motion, but 66 votes are required to change the rules. Such a "supermajority" of "Senators present and voting" would be required to effect the Cloture rule change contemplated by Frist and his cabal. The rules explicitly state that the President of the Senate must ask:
"Is it the sense of the Senate that the debate shall be brought to a close?" And if that question shall be decided in the affirmative by three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn -- except on a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules, in which case the necessary affirmative vote shall be two-thirds of the Senators present and voting -- then said measure, motion, or other matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished business, shall be the unfinished business to the exclusion of all other business until disposed of.
See Standing Rules of Senate, Rule XXII, Precedence of Motions Sec. 2


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