Definition of Filibuster
What is a filibuster? What is the definition of the term "filibuster" as it applies to politics?
A "filibuster" occurs when a person (or persons) attempts to halt action on a particular bill by engaging in an excessively long speech or other delaying tactic.
In the US Senate, rules permit a senator (or senators) to speak for as long as they want. However, three-fifths of Senators can vote to invoke cloture (under Senate Rule XXII), which brings the debate to a close.
The longest filibuster in Senate history belongs to former South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond, who embarked on a 24 hour, 18 minute long filibuster in order to delay voting on the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Thurmond reportedly took a steam bath before his speech to rid himself of any excess fluid, as well as stocking up on "cough drops and malted milk tablets" in order to keep his voice.
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