Filibuster Fight Heads to Court
House Dems sue over 'accident of history'
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 10, 2012 12:09 PM CST
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. pauses during his news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, following a Democratic strategy session.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – The battle over the Senate filibuster is moving beyond Capitol Hill gridlock and into the courtroom: While Harry Reid fights the procedural tactic in the Senate, four House Democrats have taken the matter to the federal courts. They're joined in their lawsuit by Common Cause, a nonpartisan reform organization. The opponents call the filibuster "an accident of history," arguing that it's unconstitutional because it's "inconsistent with the principle of majority rule." A hearing today, however, may result in the case's dismissal.

Previous legal challenges over Senate rules have been tossed, the Washington Post notes, and Senate lawyers argue that the Constitution doesn't allow lawsuits over legislative processes. Meanwhile, Reid's own battle continues. Senators in both parties are concerned he could change filibuster rules by ramming the measure through with 51 votes, rather than a two-thirds majority. That could set a precedent expanding the majority party's power, Politico notes. Leading Republicans are seeking Dems' support to prevent that outcome. "We’d all like to avert the nuclear option," says Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer.

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Dec 10, 2012 10:19 PM CST
I pledge $100 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee if the Democrats reform the filibuster.
Dec 10, 2012 5:49 PM CST
A court will hear a motion on Senate procedures? How laughable.
Dec 10, 2012 5:18 PM CST
Give em hell Harry!!!!!, It's just a matter of time before Conservatives with all their radical religious baggage won't be able to win any seat anywhere. The 2010 mid-terms could be another disaster for them if they don't wise up pretty soon. I know my Conservative Representative in Congress isn't representing me he works for the 2% clearly a gang member of the wealthy. The rest of us are just "Takers" to him not to mention he's also one of those anti- abortion "church ladies" he really needs to go.