Court rejects appeal over Senate filibuster rules

AP News
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Posted: Nov 03, 2014 10:09 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from a public interest group and four members of Congress who challenged the Senate filibuster as unconstitutional.

The justices let stand a lower court ruling that said Common Cause and the lawmakers did not have legal standing to pursue the case.

The plaintiffs argued that Senate rules requiring at least 60 votes to bring legislation to a vote violates the constitutional principle of majority rule. A federal appeals court said the lawsuit was filed against the wrong parties.

The case was brought against Vice President Joe Biden in his role as president of the Senate, and against the Senate's secretary, parliamentarian and sergeant at arms.

Common Cause says it can't sue the Senate directly because that is barred under the Constitution's Speech and Debate Clause.

Last year, the Senate voted to end use of the filibuster rule from blocking most presidential nominees. Democrats said they ended the rule out of frustration that Republicans were routinely using the tactic to block President Barack Obama's nominees for pivotal judgeships and other top jobs.

But 60 votes are still required to end filibusters against legislation.