Lawsuit Claiming Filibuster Unconstitutional Dismissed

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Today, District of Columbia federal Judge Emmett Sullivan dismissed the frivolous lawsuit filed by Common Cause and Representatives Mike Michaud (D–ME), Hank Johnson (D–GA), John Lewis (D–GA), and Keith Ellison (D–MN) claiming that the Senate’s rule on filibustering is somehow unconstitutional. They were also joined by three illegal aliens who claimed they were “denied a path to American citizenship because of the repeated Senate filibusters of the House-passed DREAM Act.”

Common Cause argued that Rule 22—which requires a vote of 60 senators to proceed with or close debate on bills or presidential nominations and a two-thirds vote to proceed with or close debate on proposed amendments to the Senate rules—is unconstitutional because it is “inconsistent with the principle of majority rule.”

Of course, under the Common Cause formulation of majority rule, the Senate itself would be “unconstitutional” given that every state has two senators no matter how small or large they are in population. Obviously, representation in the Senate is not based on majoritarian principles.

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