Many of you would be aware of how Texas state senator Wendy Davis helped defeat an effort to pass extremely restrictive abortion legislation by conducting a ‘talking filibuster’ for over 10 hours that ran out the clock so that a vote could not be taken by midnight of the last day of the legislative session.
Her heroic effort may be for nought because governor Rick Perry has decided to call for an immediate special session to take up the bill again. It seems like the bill will pass and the question is whether Democrats in Texas can use this issue to inflict damage on the Republicans in the 2014 elections.
But apart from that, I was struck by one of the conditions that must be met by anyone conducting a talking filibuster in Texas: “Rules stipulated she remain standing, not lean on her desk or take any breaks — even for meals or to use the bathroom.”
Surely that is hugely discriminatory against any member of the legislature who because of whatever reason such as disability or age cannot stand for any length of time or maybe even stand at all? What if the person has some medical problem that requires her to take medication periodically in privacy?
I must say that I find the talking filibuster one of the weirdest things about American politics. What purpose it serves beats me.