Update at 7:46 AM: As of about 3:00 AM Central time, Texas' Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst officially declared the bill dead — the voting did happen after the midnight deadline on the Senate special session. According to The Texas Tribune's Brandi Grissom, Dewhurst, a Republican, told reporters that "'An unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics' derailed legislation that was designed to protect women and babies." He was apparently referring to the crowd of thousands that gathered at the Texas Capitol last night and which occasionally chanted slogans or responded from the viewing balcony. Also, Peter Webber at The Week notes that, at one point in the evening, somebody tried to change dates on the official Senate record — effectively making it look like the vote happened before midnight. The original record had already been printed, however, so reporters were able to circulate both versions side by side.
Update at 12:13 AM: The bill may or may not have passed. Republican Senators are reporting that it passed and that voting began before midnight. Democratic Senators (and reporters) say the voting didn't start until after the midnight deadline. The aftermath of this is probably going to be legally messy. It's not really clear what's happening and there's a good chance there won't be a solid answer tonight. The best places to get updates: The Texas Tribune and The Austin American-Statesman.
Update at 12:00 AM Central: The Texas Senate still has not managed to vote on the abortion bill Senator Wendy Davis was trying to filibuster. Although her filibuster ended over an hour and a half ago, parliamentary procedure debates ate up the remaining time in the special session. Becca Aronson of The Texas Tribune is at the Texas Capitol. As of 12:02, she says the the Senate might vote on the bill anyway.
Original Story: Texas Senator Wendy Davis spoke for more than 11 hours straight today, attempting to filibuster a restrictive abortion bill that would, among other things, drastically reduce the number of legal abortion clinics in the state and ban abortions after 20 weeks in most cases.
Davis' filibuster was intended to go until midnight, when the clock runs out on the special legislative session. It ended with an hour and 35 minutes left to go after Republican legislators challenged her on several parliamentary rules — including putting on a supportive back brace and talking about a 2011 Texas law that forced women who wanted an abortion to undergo invasive vaginal ultrasounds. As of 10:28 pm, Central, Democratic legislators were trying to make it to midnight by challenging the challenges to the filibuster.Discuss Next post