Firedoglake: The FISA Cloture vote just passed. The Senate will now consider the motion to proceed with the bill, then they'll head to the bill itself (corrected procedural details, h/t and thanks to CBolt). Various motions will be put forward to
June 25, 2008


The FISA Cloture vote just passed. The Senate will now consider the motion to proceed with the bill, then they'll head to the bill itself (corrected procedural details, h/t and thanks to CBolt). Various motions will be put forward to strip immunity, odds are they will fail. Then a number of the 80 who voted to restrict debate will vote against FISA so they can say they were against the bill. However this was the real vote, and the rest is almost certainly nothing but kabuki for the rubes.

Obama and McCain were both absent, as was Clinton. Unimpressive, but unsurprising, though I suppose I'm disappointed by Clinton (Obama has made it clear he didn't intend to try and stop the bill.) Clinton and Obama will claim there was no point since it wasn't close. But, with their leadership, it might well have gone the other way.

Cenk Uygur and Ben Mankiewicz of The Young Turks interview Russ Feingold on how egregious all this FISA posturing is for Democratic values.

Cenk Ugyur: Alright, so let's get to the specifics of what's going to happen in the Senate, Senator Feingold, which is, you have promised to do a filibuster of this bill. How is the logistics of that going to work out? Does that come up first, and do you think you're going to be able to muster out 40 senators on your side to be able to do it? Forty one senators? Can you tell us the latest on that?

Senator Russ Feingold: Sure. Well I'm not optimistic that we're going to have 41 people stand tall on this, because I'm very concerned about the number of Democrats approaching this. But we've already started the process of what people normally call a filibuster. I mean, normally bills are just allowed to come up. We said, "No. We're going to make you wait two days, and you have to actually win a motion to proceed to the bill. Sixty votes, which happens today." So they first have to do that. Then we're going to talk about the bill for a while. A number of people wanted us to just allow it to go through with a couple of hours of debate. We said no. Senator Dodd and I have both spoken at length, and we both want to talk some more. There are also a number of people that want to offer amendments. And they said, "No, let's block that." We said no to that. They also asked if we could just let the bill have a final vote, and we said, "No. You're going to have a cloture petition. You're going to have to get 60 votes to have the final vote and cut off amendments." So we're going to demand that as well. So basically, what we're talking about is making sure they don't jam it through today or first thing tomorrow, but there will be a few days. The truth is, they would be able to stop this filibuster with 60 votes by the end of the week in any event. But we believe this is important enough to make them go through that process. That is the nature of the filibuster.

[snip]Ben Mankiewicz: If there were...what I was getting at there, or what I was about to ask is, if there were a movement in the leadership of the Senate to do this, could it be done? Or is it...

Senator Russ Feingold: Well, I think that would help. It would have helped if the Speaker not come down in favor of this thing. In fact, the majority leader has said that, of the Senate, he's going to vote against the bill. So that helps. But, you know, there's still a whole bunch of people that might be a little surprising that, who have been with us all the way, who are saying, "Well now it's time to do this because it's a compromise. It's at least an improvement." That's not true. It's absolute window dressing.

Don't let up on your phone calls. Christy at FDL has other suggestions for actions you can take to make your voice heard.

UPDATE: Scalia v. Scalia...Dahlia Lithwick compares Scalia's arguments between the DC gun ban and Boumediene:

The headline is that the court decided 5-4 (no mushy plurality here) that the D.C. handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement violate the individual right to bear arms as protected under the Second Amendment. But I must first pass along this rather brilliant observation from professor Stephen Wermiel from American University, who wonders why none of the dissenters cautioned the majority that today's decision "will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed." (Boumediene, Scalia, J. dissenting.)

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