Wednesday, June 26, 2013

After a Long, Long Night, Texas's SB 5 Is Dead

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Yesterday, Texas Senator and Goddamn Hero Wendy Davis intended to stand for 13 hours, filibustering before her fellow state senators to block abortion-restricting legislation known as Senate Bill 5 from being passed on to Governor Rick Perry's desk, where he would have signed it into law.

Her filibuster was cut short, after ten hours, when the Texas Senate President and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst determined that she had gone off topic too many times.

What followed was incredible, as Texas showed Davis that they had her back — literally, in the case of the back brace offered to her midway through her filibuster.

Her fellow senators raised parliamentary inquiries, questioning the rulings of Dewhurst, clarifying the nature of various violations of decorum — basically, stalling.

With fifteen minutes to go, the members of the gallery began cheering, raising a raucous din that interrupted the Senate roll call, and stopped any potential vote for SB 5 in its tracks.

And they won.

Not without controversy though, as the Texas Senate claimed to have passed the measure just before the deadline.

However, as the Daily Dot notes, that's not quite what happened:

In a desperate effort to pass a controversial bill that would shutter abortion clinics in Texas, a slew of Twitter sleuths, including Circa's Anthony De Rosa and former Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys, discovered that the state legislature altered official state documents to show that the vote was passed before the midnight deadline.

In actuality, the Texas state senate did not pass the bill, SB 5, in time—thanks to defeaning cheers from the gallery from supporters of State Senator Wendy Davis, who spent more than 10 hours filibustering a vote.

"Over 170,000 of us watched the Texas GOP [on YouTube] *Break the Senate rules*, and mainstream media is ignoring that fact," writer Wil Wheaton tweeted.

So, SB 5 died. Wendy Davis has become a folk hero in the minds of abortion rights advocates. And certain members of the Texas legislature are, uh, a bit unhappy.

Sorry, Bill. It appears that political gamesmanship won the night in Texas.

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