Breakdown of filibuster usage over time
May 17, 2005 4:09 PM   Subscribe

Curiosity struck and I'm looking for a year-by-year breakdown of the number of times the filibuster has been used. A chart with further breakdowns of senator, state, party, duration, cause, and whether the filibuster was ended via cloture would be even nicer.

Year - Usages - Senator - State - Party - Cause - Duration - Ended via cloture
1802 - 3
1803 - 2
1804 - 1
2003 - 1
2004 - 2
2005 - 3
posted by rudyfink to Law & Government (7 answers total)
Nowadays the filibuster isn't usually used. It's just threatened to be used, which has the same effect without all the talking.
posted by smackfu at 5:02 PM on May 17, 2005

Plus, as far as I know, there's really not a distinct filibuster procedure. Senators just take advantage of normal chamber practices, but to an unusual extreme. Sure, we've all heard of the guy reading out of the phone book, but it's usually not as dramatic; it's more quorum calls and points of order and things like that, as far as I understand it. Labeling something a "filibuster" is always going to be somewhat of a judgement call.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:22 PM on May 17, 2005

Here's a start
A small list here.
And notable filibusters here.
The Senate website has cloture tables for recent years (and lots of other goodies) linked from this page.
posted by sixpack at 9:15 AM on May 18, 2005

While I think the table might be useful, the larger context is that until recently, senators had a lot of ways to block nominees, so that they never reached the Senate floor (where a filibuster would be the last way to stop them from being voted on). The Republicans, as the majority party, have, in recent years, systematically removed these other obstacles.

So if the filibuster is used more, now (or threatened more, now), for judical nominees, it's not appropriate to read as a sign of unreasonableness, or that the Democratics are now behaving in a way that the Republicans (essentially) did not do in the past. Again, the larger context is very important.
posted by WestCoaster at 11:30 AM on May 18, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks sixpack.

I do understand what the filibuster is, how it is used, and how it has evolved. I suppose I should have put those caveats in my question. I am, as I stated, simply curious and interested in the numbers if they are available.

Let me add this CRS report while I'm posting.
Filibusters and cloture in the senate
There is also one on Minority Rights in Senate Procedure 30850, but I can't find it to see if it has a table.
posted by rudyfink at 12:41 PM on May 18, 2005

rudyfink, I think I've found the report you're looking for.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:05 PM on May 18, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks Moon I'll check it out.
posted by rudyfink at 6:17 PM on May 18, 2005

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