Senate authorizes legal counsel in filibuster lawsuit


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On Wednesday the Senate approved S. Res 485, a resolution authorizing legal counsel in the case of Common Cause vs. Joseph S. Biden, a lawsuit in which the advocacy group Common Cause alleges that the filibuster is unconstitutional. In May, the group filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Washington.

"It’s an affront to our democracy and not the way the Senate was supposed to work. And it has real consequences for real people," Common Cause President Bob Edgar wrote in May.

The announcement came as the Senate adjourned on Wednesday.

On Thursday at 10:30 a.m. the Senate will hold a cloture vote on a motion to proceed to the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (S.3240). That vote comes a day of senators introducing amendments to the bill, a number of which are not directly related to the farm bill. It's unclear whether the amendments will stop the bill's passage through the chamber as recent legislation has passed only after Republicans and Democrats agreed on a finite number of related amendments to legislation.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said legislators hoped to come to an agreement on voting on amendments to the farm bill on Thursday.

"We hope to reach an agreement on amendments to the bill during Thursday's session," Whitehouse said Wednesday afternoon.

The Senate reconvenes at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.