What is the main purpose of a filibuster?
The Senate tradition of unlimited debate has allowed for the use of the filibuster, a loosely defined term for action designed to prolong debate and delay or prevent a vote on a bill, resolution, amendment, or other debatable question.
Who had the longest filibuster and what was it about?
On August 28, 1957, United States Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina began a filibuster, or extended speech, intended to stop the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. This made the filibuster the longest single-person filibuster in U.S. Senate history, a record that still stands today.
Where does the name filibuster come from?
Using the filibuster to delay debate or block legislation has a long history. The term filibuster, from a Dutch word meaning “pirate,” became popular in the United States during the 1850s when it was applied to efforts to hold the Senate floor in order to prevent action on a bill.
Is a filibuster a pirate?
The English term “filibuster” derives from the Spanish filibustero, itself deriving originally from the Dutch vrijbuiter, ‘privateer, pirate, robber’ (also the root of English freebooter).
Why did Robert La Follette start the filibuster?
Things came to a head on March 3, 1917, when the Senate was considering arming merchant ships to protect them from German attacks during World War I. Fearing the bill would lead the U.S. into the war, Republican Senator Robert La Follette launched a filibuster with only 26 hours to go until the Senate’s term ended.
Where did the civil rights filibuster take place?
U.S. senators rest in the Old Senate Chamber during the protracted debate over the 1960 Civil Rights Act in Washington, D.C. Four years later, a factions of Southern senators would filibuster for 60 working days in an effort to block passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Please be respectful of copyright. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
What are the arguments for and against the filibuster?
Defenders of the filibuster argue that it protects the rights of the minority party and encourages consensus. Opponents complain that it subverts majority rule and creates gridlock. Both sides in the argument claim to have history—and the U.S. Constitution—on their side.
Where did the term stealth filibuster come from?
But U.S. lawmakers have made this tactic notorious—and created a new form of “stealth” filibusters. Appropriately, its name comes from a Dutch word for “pirate”—because the filibuster is, in essence, a hijacking of debate in the U.S. Senate.