‘Citizen filibuster’ kills bill in Texas Statehouse

Wednesday, 26 June 2013 |

Last night, in a scene reminiscent of the Wisconsin State Capitol occupation, thousands of Texans occupied their State Capitol. At issue? A bill known as SB5 which was expected to force the closure of the majority of abortion clinics in Texas.

But instead of the bill passing quietly in a routine matter, the showdown at the Capitol last night was anything but ordinary.

One lawmaker, Senator Wendy Davis of Ft. Worth, stood up and fililbustered the bill, talking for more than 11 hours. Her filibuster became snarled by technicalities and confusion over the rules of the Texas Senate. Her colleagues prolongued the filibuster by asking procedural questions. And then the crowd took over, sparked by one female Texas legislator who fought to be heard by her male colleagues. The crowd unleashed raucous cheering and chanting, drowning out the roll call vote on the bill. In Texas, a special legislative session ends at midnight, so the crowd effectively ran out the clock on the bill, preventing its approval.

Joining us on A Public Affair today are a reporter from the Texas Tribune, who ran round-the-clock coverage and a livestream with 175,000 viewers, and the Executive Director of NARAL Texas. Tune in at noon.

Watch the moment, somewhere around 2am early Wednesday morning, when the crowd learns the bill has been defeated. Courtesy Andrea Grimes.

News Director
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