Photo: via U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin
A federal court heard arguments today in a case that’s trying to stop the abuse of the Senate filibuster, Ari Melber reports for Reuters.The filibuster allows Senators to speak as long as they’d like to delay a vote unless 60 per cent of their colleagues vote to shut them up.
While the filibuster used to be a rare last resort (think of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington), it’s actually been abused in recent years, according to a number of left-leaning advocates.
There’s momentum building to stop that alleged abuse, and one of the people behind the legal element of that campaign isn’t even a U.S. citizen, Melber reports.
Mexican national Erika Andiola is one of the lead plaintiffs in the suit, which claims the filibuster unfairly derailed the DREAM Act.
That law would have provided a path to citizenship for Andiola and other illegal immigrants brought here as children. And it had broad support in both chambers of Congress – before the Senate filibustered it, Melber wrote.
Aside from being one of the faces of filibuster reform, Andiola shared her story with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who used it when trying to pass the DREAM Act.
Born in Mexico, Andiola came to the U.S. as an 11-year-old and went on to graduate from Arizona State University with honours.
“It makes no sense to deport Erika back to Mexico, a country she left as a child,” Durbin said in testimony before the Senate.
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