Senator Wendy Davis’ Filibuster Succeeded!
After an intense and controversial session in the Texas senate, Senator Wendy Davis successfully filibustered the SB5 anti-abortion bill.
The filibuster was ended abruptly by Republican senators in its 11th hour, utilizing the rules on germaneness (or relevancy to the law being debated) to call a third strike on Senator Wendy Davis just after 10 pm.
In the Texas senate, when filibustering, the senator responsible must adhere to strict rules during their allotted time. Davis was not allowed to sit, lean on her nearby desk, nor could she at any point go off the topic of the bill she was filibustering.
The first strike was called on Davis when she discussed Planned Parenthood, the second strike was called when Davis received assistance from a fellow senator when putting on a back brace, and the final strike was called when she touched briefly on the Texas sonogram law.
Twitter user Heather Parker pointed out the senate must vote on a point of order after the third strike is called. Additionally, Davis’ second strike did not count against the senate’s rules on germaneness, since the assistance with the back brace is a "decorum" issue.
The senate erupted in screams when the third strike was called, preventing the vote on the bill from starting on time. The bill passed, but the vote on SB5 ended just after the midnight deadline. Around 3 am, the Texas senate conceded that the bill did not make it in time for the deadline.
In the end, Senator Davis’ filibuster succeeded with some help from supporters whose cries of dismay delayed the vote.
What do you think would have happened if the senate had not conceded and made the law stand?