New twist to death penalty stalemate
Julie Bykowicz reports this morning that the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is contemplating the unusual step of sending the death penalty repeal to the Senate floor without a recommendation. Two anti-repeal votes on the committee -- Democrat Jim Brochin and Republican Alex Mooney -- indicated they might be willing to do that, which would provide enough votes to get it the proposal in front of the whole body for an up-or-down vote.
This prospect apparently has Mike Miller a little bit freaked out. He admonished the Senate members during yesterday's session not to vote something to the floor and then participate in a filibuster. He referred to the abortion filibuster in the early '90s and said he doesn't want to see something come to the floor only to bottle up all other senate business. He and others who were part of that filibuster treat it like it was their own personal 'nam.
But based on The Sun's recent survey of the Senate, this may not be an issue. As it stands, the anti-repeal side has a majority of the Senate, so there would be nothing to filibuster. I suppose the pro-repeal side could theoretically refuse to shut off debate, but I don't think I've ever heard of a filibuster aimed at passing legislation rather than stopping it. What, you talk until someone caves?