A federal judge has begun hearing arguments on Senate filibuster rules this week in a lawsuit brought by critics, including Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, who argue the practice has held up immigration reform in Congress.
Several groups, including Common Cause and several Democratic lawmakers, argue that Congress is constitutionally required to pass legislation by a simple majority vote, instead of a 60-vote supermajority that can hold up debate indefinitely.
The challenge is now before U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington, D.C.
Senate attorneys argue that the Constitution’s provisions for separation of powers prevent the courts from intervening in the internal deliberations of Congress. All previous challenges have failed.
Senate Democrats, who control the Senate, have vowed to reform the filibuster rule when a new Congress convenes in January.
Defenders of the filibuster (usually the minority party at any given time) say it protects the rights of minority parties.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders is bringing his insurgent presidential campaign to Minneapolis Sunday, where he will host a town hall meeting at the American Indian Center in Minneapolis at 10.
As negotiations continue over how Minnesota will deliver preschool instruction, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, and early-learning expert Art Rolnick visit private preschool to tout scholarships.
The governor and House speaker ended about two hours of talks with a joint news conference, saying negotiations on a final agreement before a planned special legislative session are progressing.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said Wednesday that Senate Democrats would support whatever special session deal that their fellow DFLers, Gov. Mark Dayton, is able to strike with GOP House Speaker Kurt Daudt.
The announcement came after an hourlong, private meeting between Gov. Mark Dayton and House Speaker Kurt Daudt. That was apparently the only agreement to be found today.