Although the filibuster staged by Wendy Davis to block the omnibus abortion bill succeeded (see below ), the work isn’t done. Gov. Perry has called the state senate back to work.
It did so by declining to decide a case. For how that worked, see the NY Times:
The case concerning California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, was decided on technical grounds, with the majority saying that it was not properly before the court. Because officials in California had declined to appeal a trial court’s decision against them and because the proponents of Proposition 8 were not entitled to step into the state’s shoes to appeal the decision, the court said, it was powerless to issue a decision. That left in place a trial court victory for two same-sex couples who had sought to marry.
DOMA cannot survive under these principles. Its unusual deviation from the tradition of recognizing and accepting state definitions of marriage operates to deprive same-sex couples of the benefits and responsibilities that come with federal recognition of their marriages. This is strong evidence of a law having the purpose and effect of disapproval of a class recognized and protected by state law. DOMA’s avowed purpose and practical effect are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the States.
DOMA’s history of enactment and its own text demonstrate that interference with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages, conferred by the States in the exercise of their sovereign power, was more than an incidental effect of the federal statute. It was its essence.
Read the decision, here.
over at Leiter. Unfortunately, Hypatia is not available as a choice. This is a great shame, as it would have been (I suspect) a welcome opportunity to demonstrate how well-respected the flagship feminist philosophy journal is. (Thanks, R!)
There’s a good run down of Texas’ rules for filibuster here (which gives you a better idea of the massive, heroic task that Wendy Davis undertook for her state). But as has been discussed in the comments here, these rules for filibuster seem remarkably, shockingly ableist. Conditions laid down for filibuster include:
Rule 3.02 prohibits eating or drinking in the Senate chamber.
Rule 4.01 requires a member of the Senate to stand at his or her desk to address the Senate. The member speaking may not sit, lean, or use a desk or chair in any way. Bathroom breaks are not allowed.
Rule 4.03, which governs the interruption of a member who is speaking, allows other senators to raise objections if a speaker does not confine his or her remarks to the issue under consideration or if his or her voice is inaudible.
So you cannot filibuster if you are a wheelchair user. You cannot filibuster if you are hypoglycemic. You cannot filibuster if you use various types of mobility aid. You cannot filibuster if you have such a stunning array of disabilities that the mind boggles.
How is the legal? That’s not rhetoic, that’s a serious question. How are these rules not a flagrant violation of the ADA?
Sometimes you win one. The state legislature of Texas voted to pass SB5 (the bill that would in effect close 37 of the state’s 42 abortion clinics), but the Lieutenant Governor of Texas has ruled that the vote took place at 12:03am – 3 minutes past the deadline.
You can see video of Wendy Davis addressing the crowd of supporters here: