(Update) The filibuster in federal court – case dismissed

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

I hate to say I told you so, but "I told you so." Judge dismisses anti-filibuster lawsuit – McClatchy:

A long-shot lawsuit challenging the Senate filibuster rules has been tossed out by a federal judge.

In a 47-page ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan acknowledged that the "filibuster rule is an important and controversial issue…as in recent years, even the mere threat of a filibuster is powerful enough to completely forestall legislative action."

Nonetheless, as could have been predicted, Sullivan added that "this court finds itself powerless to address this issue for two independent reasons."

Specifically, Sullivan concluded the plaintiffs lacked the standing to sue, and he cited as well his assessment that "to intrude into this area would offend the separation of powers on which the Constitution rests." The judge reasoned:

"Reaching the merits of this case would require an invasion into internal Senate processes at the
heart of the Senate’s constitutional prerogatives as a House of
Congress, and would thus express a lack of respect for the Senate as a
coordinate branch of government
." [comity]

Common Cause filed the lawsuit on behalf of itself, several members
of the House of Representatives and three indivudals who said they would
have benefited from the so-called DREAM Act had it not been blocked by
the filibuster.

* * *

The lawsuit claimed that the filibuster, which among other things
requires a vote of 60 senators to proceed with or close debate on bills,
is unconstitutional because it is “inconsistent with the principle of
majority rule." [true]

In part, Sullivan observed that the plaintiffs "failed to demonstrate"
that the DREAM Act immigration bill, as well as a campaign finance
reform bill, would have passed if it weren't for the filibuster.

That really is irrelevant to the constitutional arguments presented.

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