Senator Rand Paul ended his 13-hour filibuster around 1 a.m. this morning. You might think that's a long time to talk, but he was still 12 hours short of the Senate record, set by Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who spoke for 24 hours and 18 minutes to keep the Civil Rights Act of 1957 from getting passed (luckily it didn't work).
Paul, a Republican Senator from Kentucky (and Ron Paul's son), used the filibuster to protest President Obama's lack of response about drone strikes. He delayed the confirmation of John O. Brennan, Obama's nominee for head of the CIA. Paul actually talked about drones the entire time instead of reading from the phone book or something.
He decided to filibuster after receiving a letter from the attorney general that said the administration wouldn't rule out the use of drones on American soil in circumstances like 9/11, or the use of drones on American citizens abroad (Paul references Jane Fonda's infamous and possibly treasonous visit to North Vietnam in 1972).
Other Republicans joined him on the floor for solidarity throughout the filibuster. Marco Rubio of Florida got up and quoted Wiz Khalifa, Jay-Z, and The Godfather. "I don’t know how that’s relevant to this, but I thought I’d bring it up," he said. Ted Cruz of Texas read Shakespeare.
"I would go for another 12 hours to try to break Strom Thurmond’s record, but I’ve discovered that there are some limits to filibustering and I’m going to have to go take care of one of those in a few minutes here," Paul said at the end of his protest.
You can read a transcript of the entire filibuster at Paul's website if you are so inclined. He also found the time to tweet before hitting the hay this morning.
Thank you to my colleagues in the House & Senate, and to all the Americans who stood w/ me tonight in support of preserving civil liberties.— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) March 7, 2013
Brennan's nomination is expected to be confirmed today anyway.
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[via New York Times]