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Archive of entries posted on April 2014

House Rules on Decorum and Debate: Are there Words You Can Never Say on the Floor?

Apropos nothing in particular, here is a recent National Journal article discussing whether the House categorically forbids the use of certain vulgar or profane words in the course of debate. House Rule XVII(1)(b) simply states that “[r]emarks in debate (which may include references to the Senate or its Members) shall be confined to the question [...]

The D.C. Circuit on the Nuclear Option

One additional tidbit from the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Common Cause v. Biden is worth noting. In footnote 5, the court discusses the Senate’s exercise of the “nuclear option” last fall: That opportunity to appeal [from the ruling of the presiding officer] constituted the so-called “nuclear option” the Senate invoked to modify the cloture rule [...]

Common Cause’s Impossible Dream: Act II

Not surprisingly, the D.C. Circuit has affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Common Cause’s challenge to the constitutionality of the filibuster. Like the court below, the appellate panel found the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue, but its rationale was somewhat different. The district court’s decision was rooted in the absence of a cognizable injury and [...]

Is SSCI Following the Senate Rules?

According to a press release from Chairman Feinstein yesterday, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has “voted to declassify the 480-page executive summary as well as 20 findings and conclusions of the majority’s five-year study of the CIA Detention and Interrogation Program, which involved more than 100 detainees.” But, wait, SSCI can’t “declassify” anything. Classification [...]

Addition and Subtraction in Article V Counting

Yesterday Representative Duncan Hunter (R-Ca.) sent a letter to the Speaker asking for the House to determine how many states have applied for an Article V convention to propose a balanced budget amendment. Hunter’s letter was prompted by Michigan’s passage last week of a resolution applying for such a convention. With the addition of Michigan, [...]