Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Texas state senator Wendy Davis achieved what many people thought was the impossible: she filibustered tyranny in the Texas Lege. The tyrants threw in the towel and gave up around 3:00 a.m. this morning. Dewhurst declares abortion bill dead, blames 'unruly mob: (paragraphs reordered):
Davis’ filibuster had passed the 10-hour mark, and the Fort Worth Democrat was still going strong, when Republicans were able to stop her from speaking with a ruling that she had violated the Senate’s filibuster rules for a third time. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s ruling shortly after 10 p.m. cleared the way for a simple majority of the Republican-led body to vote to halt a filibuster that had gained national attention, including recognition from President Barack Obama.
Dewhurst’s ruling prompted many in the spectators’ gallery erupted in anger, with shouts of “Shame!” giving way to sustained chants of “Let her speak!” All business in the Senate was halted for several minutes until order could be restored and a large group of spectators ordered to leave the gallery.
That was nothing compared to the ruling that cut off all debate, leading to a final vote on Senate Bill 5.
State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, had appealed the ruling, and upset Democratic senators rose to make a series of parliamentary inquiries, working to draw out the debate until the special session ended at midnight.
Republicans moved to cut off debate, with Sen. Robert Duncan, D-Lubbock, who was leading the Senate, declined to recognize several Democrats’ calls to be recognized to speak. Pandemonium followed.
Davis had launched her filibuster of Senate Bill 5 at 11:18 a.m. Wearing pink tennis shoes and a much-debated back brace, she needed to talk for 12 hours and 42 minutes to block a vote on the bill.
Davis has shown no sign of flagging . . .
The crowd waiting to get in to the Senate gallery winds down from the Capitol’s third floor, to its second floor, down to the first floor and splits down two hallways in the first floor. The filibuster has also drawn national attention, including a tweet from President Barack Obama: ““Something special is happening in Austin tonight. #StandWithWendy.”
* * *
As Sen. Wendy Davis’s filibuster has passed the 10-hour mark, Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, has made an objection, saying Davis has strayed from the subject of the abortion bill by talking about the pre-abortion sonogram requirement passed in the Legislature in 2011.
The point of order by Sen. Donna Campbell was ruled to be good shortly after 10 p.m., all but ending the filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis.
It was the third rules violation ruled against Davis. That allows the Senate to vote on whether to stop the filibuster by a simple majority in the Republican-dominated Senate.
The ruling was greeted by shouts of dismay from many in the orange-glad audience.
* * *
Sen. Wendy Davis, speaking to a large and adoring crowd gathered outside the Senate door, thanked her supporters.
“Today was democracy in action,” she told the crowd. “You all are the voices we were speaking for from the floor.”
Her words were greeted with screaming applause that grew into an organized chant: “Wendy! Wendy!”
Speaking a few minutes earlier with reporters, Davis said the effort was worth it, even if its results were ambiguous.
“My back hurts,” she said. “And I don’t have a whole lot of words left.”
* * *
The vote began at 11:45 p.m. For the next 15 minutes — far longer, actually — spectators in the gallery overlooking the Senate floor unleashed a tremendous and sustained scream that drowned out every effort to establish order. With so many loud protesters outside the chambers, apparently there weren’t enough DPS troopers available, and spectators were escorted out very slowly.
With the initial vote stymied, senators were called up front to vote again shortly before midnight. While that vote was still underway, Sens. Royce West and Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, both Democrats, began holding up their cell phones to show that they read “12:00.”
The Texas Legislative Service, the online presence of the Legislature, originally listed SB5 as having passed on “6-26-13,” or after midnight. Shortly after 1 a.m., however, the listing was changed to reflect passage before midnight.
Senate Bill 5 did not pass in time and will not be sent to the governor, two Democratic senators said after senators of both parties met privately in a room off the Senate floor for almost an hour.
The time stamp showing the vote completed after midnight was a deciding factor.
“This will not become law,” said Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston.
Senators were streaming onto the floor shortly before 3 a.m. in anticipation of an announcement.
* * *
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst returned to the Senate floor at 3:01 a.m., banged the gavel and announced that, “regrettably, the constitutional time expired” on the special session.
Senate Bill 5 cannot be signed because it passed after midnight, he said.
After making his announcement, Dewhurst paused, then added: “It’s been fun, but, uh, see you soon.”
The crowds in the Capitol, loudly cheering early word that the bill had failed, let loose with another rousing cheer when told that it was official.
* * *
Speaking to reporters afterward, Dewhurst said he was furious about the night’s events.
“An unruly mob, using Occupy Wall Street tactics, disrupted the Senate from protecting unborn babies,” he said.
Dewhurst said SB5 passed 19-10, but with all the ruckus and noise, he couldn’t hear the proceedings, and now “I can’t sign the bill” so it can go to Gov. Rick Perry.