The Mess In Texas

Probably not going to get more definitive than this, until the lawyers show up for business hours. NBC News:

As the clock passed midnight Tuesday in Texas, a scene of remarkable chaos unfolded in the state Senate chamber as an eruption of cheering and chanting drowned out the legislative action, leaving it unclear whether a bill that would have shut down most of the state’s abortion clinics had passed.

Republican senators claimed the measure passed, the Austin American-Statesman and Dallas Morning News reported. But both outlets also reported that Democratic senators insisted the vote was not completed before midnight and was thus invalid…

The day began with Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis attempting a 13-hour filibuster to kill the bill. The only way Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate could have defeated the measure was by not letting it come to a vote before the session was to end at midnight (1 a.m. Wednesday ET)…

Late Tuesday night, Davis ran afoul of a three-strikes-and-you’re-out rule when Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, acting as Senate president, upheld an objection that she had strayed from the topic again, this time by discussing a 2011 law involving sonograms and abortions, which he ruled was non-germane to the abortion bill…

That opened the door for the Senate’s Republican majority to call for a straight up-or-down vote to end Davis’ remarks. A series of motions, appeals and parliamentary inquiries on that order followed.

As midnight neared, raucous cheering erupted from the gallery during a roll call vote. The cheering, witnessed on a live video stream of the session, halted Senate action for several minutes. And it remained unclear whether a vote on the bill was taken….

In a show of support for Davis, President Barack Obama tweeted Tuesday night: “Something special is happening in Austin tonight. #StandWithWendy”.

Video at the link, and (I’m sure) more posts to follow as things develop.

ETA: The Washington Post has some background on Sen. Wendy Davis.

57 replies
  1. 1
    piratedan says:

    we’ll see if the Texas GOP just Darth Vader’ed women’s rights into “a force more powerful than you can imagine”.

  2. 2
    Yatsuno says:

    Time for the legal staffs to get involved. This is gonna be quite messy. But the best part is the injunction sure to be filed tomorrow morning means Goodhair can’t touch it yet.

  3. 3
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Interesting, a comment over at LGM says that the vote took place after midnight, but someone went into the log and retroactively changed the time stamp.

  4. 4
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Twitter just said Dewhurst admitted the vote happened after midnight.

  5. 5
    Felinious Wench says:

    Holy shit, news coming out of caucus is Dewhurst said the vote was at 12:03. The bill is dead.

  6. 6
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: They did. The AP had a camera on the website and recorded the rollback.

  7. 7
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Joseph Nobles: as I mentioned at LGM, that is a field that should just not be editable, for any reason.

  8. 8
    piratedan says:

    @Joseph Nobles: nothing like real-time revisionist history

  9. 9
    Peter says:

    Can’t they just bring it back up for another vote tomorrow? All this had bought is time.

    EDIT: Not that time isn’t something. It’s a hell of an accomplishment, actually. But as Mr. Wolf said, let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks just yet.

  10. 10
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Peter: the special session is over, so, no.

  11. 11
    Peter says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Oh, right, I forgot about that detail of this whole mess.

  12. 12
    Keith says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Perry’s just going to call another special session. He’s a Christian mullah at this point.
    Amazing to be longing for the days of Governer George W. Bush. Back then, he kinda really was a uniter. Perry…not so much.

  13. 13
    TCG says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Can Perry call another one?

  14. 14
    Forkbeard says:

    Perry can call another special session. And in fact, he’ll do so. There were two important bills that were scheduled to happen after this bill, so they could blame Democrats if they didn’t pass – relating to highway funding and establishing a scholarship.

    So Perry will call another special session. And I see now that Wendy Davis’ spokesperson just officially announced that the bill has died in the senate for this special session. Woo!

  15. 15
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @TCG: that I have no idea about.

  16. 16
    Felinious Wench says:

    It’s official. The bill failed.

    Yes, Perry can call another special session…but if people thought THIS protest was bad, wait until they bring it up for vote again. We’ve all woken up now.

    And it is 2:20 am over here in Texas. I can finally go to sleep. ‘Night, all.

  17. 17
    Forkbeard says:

    I’ve been drinking a good Texas whiskey the whole night while watching this. So glad it turn out well, but now that whiskey is about to make me pass out.

    But seriously, watching the livestream of the activists has been nothing less than inspiring. I’m going to inquire about volunteering with several causes tomorrow.

  18. 18
    Felinious Wench says:

    Oh, and let’s make a list of all the news media that called it wrong or didn’t bother covering it until Twitter blew up tonight: ABC, CBS, Politico, CNN, MSNBC…pretty much no one got it right except the Austin American Statesman, who covers the Lege and knows better.

  19. 19
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Felinious Wench: thank you and good night.

  20. 20
    Keith says:

    @Felinious Wench: I haven’t seen an update with the official news of it failing yet, and I’ve checked damn near everywhere I can think of. I don’t expect the major sites to update for at least another couple of hours (CNN in maybe a day….they tend to have week-old headlines on their web site)

  21. 21
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Keith: it was announced by Sen. Davis. Cecile Richards just spoke as well. I watched it live off a feed from a guy’s cell who is in the Rotunda. :)

  22. 22
    slhanlon says:

    The bill did not pass tonight. It is official. Maybe not dead, but delayed and it is no longer under the radar.

  23. 23
    Fred says:

    Check out Mark Kleiman’s post at

  24. 24
    Robert says:

    If the governor calls another special session, the whole process on this bill would have to start over again: debate, house motions, voting in the house, debate, senate motions, voting in the senate, etc.

  25. 25
    Keith says:

    Still haven’t found a single news site saying the vote didn’t make it. Yes, I’m aware that Twitter is, but not a single news site or blog (TPM is like 8-5, M-F only, even with additional staff) that I have read has updated; and the TX legislature site still has the 6/25 vote date

  26. 26
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Something to think about: lots of states have no filibuster of any kind in their legislatures.

  27. 27
    amk says:


    Miami Herald

    BREAKING: Texas Lt. Gov. reverses himself, declares vote on tough abortion bill came too late to pass

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The Texas GOP. The people Orwell was warning us about.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  29. 29
    Susan K of the tech support says:

    What an exceptional night to be watching on Twitter, on the’s live YouTube coverage (nearly 200,000 people watching at the end) and, afterwards, on a Ustream channel, where Twitterer @ChristopherDiDo covered TX Rotunda action and waited for the Senators to emerge from their post-midnight yes-the-bill-did-die-a-definitive-12:03am-death victory speech.


  30. 30
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    In politics on a different continent, there is currently a leadership spill going on in Canberra.

    Julia Gillard is being challenged for the Prime Minister’s job by ex-PM Kevin Rudd.

    Things are looking bad for Gillard, it seems very likely that there will be a new Australian PM in half an hour or so.

  31. 31
    Patricia Kayden says:

    This is good news for now at least. I can’t imagine how exhausted Ms. Davis is this morning. Hope she got some sleep. This whole exercise is a case in point on how Democrats are different from Republicans. Can’t stand when people say that both parties are the same. No, they’re not. Would be nice if this ultimately hurts Republicans in Texas.

  32. 32
    Napoleon says:

    If Davis is 50 and went to Harvard law I wonder if she was a classmate of Obamas?

  33. 33
    something fabulous says:

    @Napoleon: Huh, wouldn’t that be interesting! But the article I just saw about her (wapo? too many links back!) made it sound like she worked her way through law school a bit later in life, so I’d guess not…

  34. 34
  35. 35
    something fabulous says:


  36. 36
    slightly_peeved says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    and.. she’s done. And according to their agreement, she’s out of politics. Meet the new PM, same as the old PM – literally :)

  37. 37
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Hot damn! The good guys won one.!

    Wendy Davis is now nationally known. Ain’t life funny?

  38. 38
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @something fabulous:

    The Twitter feed for Texas Senate Clock is hilarious!

    Edited for punctuation. Geez!

  39. 39
    JCT says:

    Ahhh- I’ve been trying to watch this from Beijing, Twitter is of course, blocked here.

    Sounds like a great night – fun for me to get the heads up that this was all going on thanks to a phone call from my daughter – she was all riled up!

  40. 40
    geg6 says:

    Wow, I want to gay marry Wendy Davis. Awesome woman.

    Speaking of which (gay marriage, I mean), the Prop8 and DOMA decision might get interesting today. Gay rights groups have permits for demonstrations that will shut down major areas of downtown Pittsburgh today. They’re calling it Rejoice or Riot.

  41. 41
    raven says:

    Mr Scarborough is asking if anyone seriously
    believes that the Southern states are really run by racists and bigots?

  42. 42
    raven says:

    @JCT: My good buddy is there working with the national basketball team.

  43. 43
    WereBear says:

    @raven: Mr Scarborough is asking if anyone seriously believes that the Southern states are really run by racists and bigots?

    He is the MASTER of rhetorical questions!

  44. 44
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Perry will call another session because there were other bills to pass. Dewhurst (or whoever) scheduled them for after SB5. Numbskulls.

  45. 45
    Geoduck says:

    If we’re reporting on state governments, here in Washington (state), after a newly-elected Democratic senator decided to caucus with the GOP and thus hand control of the Senate to the latter, budget negotiations have become deadlocked, and the entire state government will probably shut down.

  46. 46
    Thlayli says:

    Of course, all the Juicers who clicked the WaPo link had the same reaction:


  47. 47
    Shalimar says:

    @raven: Scarborough knows Jeff Sessions personally, so I’m pretty sure he already knows the answer to that question. It isn’t no.

  48. 48
    WereBear says:

    One thing the last decade has done is make me look prescient.

    When it became clear to me that 9/11 was being treated as an excuse for making Republican fever dreams come true, (and I admit I did not realize how deep the rot had gone,) I would explain that the Republican party had gone full-Wingnut. I predicted they would start turning us into a fascist state with corporate control, oppressing women and minorities, and bringing back feudalism… and I was regarded as someone with extra heads.

    I don’t look like a lunatic now, do I?

  49. 49
    4tehlulz says:

    obviously, this shows why we need to get rid of the filibuster.

  50. 50
    Dream On says:

    Something special is happening in the NSA.

  51. 51
    Emma says:

    I just woke up to these news. Wendy for President!

  52. 52
    JCT says:

    @raven: I’m only here for a few days, but having fun so far !

  53. 53
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Obama disappoints again.


  54. 54
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Dream On: Real, existential questions like reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy wither in comparison to the thought that sometime, somewhere, somebody will be able to see the deleted posts that got you banned from SomethingAwful.

  55. 55
    Chyron HR says:

    @Dream On:

    The Monolith is evolving Snowden into a Space Baby?

  56. 56
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Chyron HR: Wasn’t he always a space baby?

  57. 57
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Mr. Scarborough, he worthless sack of rancid slime.

    (apologies to rancid slime)

Comments are closed.