CIVICS DECK – What is a Filibuster?

The Guardian sees the filibuster as a way for a relatively small group of senators to block some action by the majority. The filibuster rule allows a minority of 41 senators (out of 100 total) to prevent a vote on most species of legislation. This political strategy takes advantage of a U.S. Senate rule that says a senator, once recognized on the floor, may speak on an issue without being impeded by anyone, thus allowing senators to speak for hours to delay efforts to vote for a bill.

There is no filibuster in the House of Representatives because rules adopted in that larger legislative body strictly limit the amount of time each representative may speak on the House floor.

CENSUS – the ongoing saga of delayed results and the impact on the 2022 election

date changes have created angst for the political parties and its’ constituencies and placed states in difficult positions to legally and accurately complete their responsibilities.  Some states have constitutional deadlines for redistricting and/or statutory filing deadlines for primaries.

Michigan’s redistricting commission will hold an open meeting at 1 PM on March 5th to discuss the conflict between when Census data will be available and constitutional deadlines. Complicating matters, voting rights advocates have said, is that this will be the first redistricting cycle since the Supreme Court eliminated the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act that required states with a history of racial discrimination to prove to the Department of Justice that their electoral maps weren’t drawn to dilute the power of voters of color. The shortened redistricting window leaves less time to challenge maps in the courts as discriminatory.