Washington, DC – Three illegal aliens joined with four liberal House Democrats as plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court to put an end to the cloture rule in the U.S. Senate. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim the rule is unconstitutional and allows legislators to filibuster (block) legitimate legislation that has the support of the majority from becoming law.
Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Hank Johnson (D-GA), John Lewis (D-GA), and Michael Michaud (D-ME) are the four Congressman named in the suit filed by the lobbyist group Common Cause, who will argue that the Constitution made specific allowances for the use of super-majority votes, which the filibuster renders meaningless.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs claim the Constitution spells out specific instances where super-majorities are required: Impeaching the president, expelling members of Congress, overriding a Presidential veto of a bill, ratifying treaties and amending the Constitution. Thus, they claim any instance where a super-majority is required beyond this scope is reaching beyond Constitutional limits.
This is why the illegal aliens joining in the lawsuit say the vote to kill the DREAM Act in 2010 was illegal. At the end of the year, the Democrat controlled Senate voted on three seperate occasions in favor of ending debate on the DREAM Act, but because cloture requires 60 votes to end debate, a final vote requiring only a simple majority for passage never took place. Thus, it was effectively filibustered by Republicans.
It is worth mentioning that the last time the Democrats moved for cloture on the DREAM Act, they were attempting to ram it through a lame duck session after they were resoundingly rejected by the American people in the 2010 midterms. That smackdown came after Republicans filibustered the DREAM Act two times prior to the election, which means liberals were attempting to ram the bill through against the wishes of the people. This is an inconvenient truth that tends to water down their claims to the moral high ground.
Unfortunately for the illegals and liberals, their argument will likely lose in court as the Constitution clearly states in Section 5 that “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings”. And while it only takes a simple majority to change Senate rules, the rule change itself would be up for debate, meaning 60 votes would be required to end debate and move to a full vote.
Long story short: The lawsuit is DOA.