Posted by Unknown |

Today I learnt

Today (11th July 2005) I learnt what a Filibuster is. It's obstructionist tactics to hold up legisation from passing in the US Senate. The person who is filibusting takes the floor in the Senate before a vote is taken and talks. And they keep talking, they cannot stop talking, they cannot lean on anything, they cannot go to the bathroom, they must keep one foot on the chamber floor at all times. Filibuster comes from a Dutch word meaning "Pirate".

There was a guy on The West Wing who did it. He read shrimp recipies, card rules and David Copperfield to the Senate for over nine hours. It sounds like fun. I think I'd like to try Filibusting one day.

The longest filibuster ever was done by Strom Thurmond in 1957 when he filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes. He was protesting the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which passed despite his dedicated filibusting to a vote of 60-15.