121

The situation is fairly complex so I'm not surprised it was confusing. Here's the general rundown (partially pulled from this article for brevity) Sometime in July, Ford (Kavanaugh's accuser) wrote a letter to Diane Feinstein (D-CA) with her allegation that Kavanaugh had assaulted her sometime around 1982. The letter purportedly requested anonymity and ...


68

I'm not sure what the standard for evidence is (i.e. for references) on this site. If you want to know, here's what I inferred from following the Twitters of a couple of (anti-Trump) American lawyers. The weren't "sexual assault hearings", they were "senate confirmation hearings" Senate procedure has previously (since 2013 and 2017, as explained in detail ...


65

If a Senator missed a vote (deliberately or not), and all other Senators are present and voting, it would deny the VP the opportunity to break a tie. However, there's no point to deliberately doing this. Senator supports the measure, Senate is 50-49 without them. If the Senator votes, the final vote would be 51-49. The VP is not needed to break a tie. ...


58

Because Senate leadership [which largely shapes these rules] sees the trial's outcome as a forgone conclusion ā€œIā€™m not an impartial juror. This is a political process,ā€ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters last month. The accelerated schedule (towards that foregone conclusion) goes hand in hand with not calling any [new] ...


49

Regarding the start time (1p) From my understanding it is due to The Chief Justice's day job (SCOTUS). If true, this could be why on Saturday Jan 25 the trial started earlier as the SCOTUS didn't have any work that day. My answer doesn't included factors such as primetime viewership as I think those were secondary. I am trying to find text that cites ...


30

Let's state a few facts establishing the preconditions: The GOP and their senators, by and large, have made their peace with Trump's presidency. They do not want him removed from office, neither by election nor by impeachment. Tolerating this President involves tolerating a person very different from the conservative ideal and tolerating policies, ...


24

This is a common legislative tactic. Although Sen. McConnell didn't explicitly describe his plan, he was likely planning on gutting the bill (removing all of its current content) and eventually replacing it with new, immigration-related content. This isn't an amendment: it's replacing the current text of the bill with all-new text. This saves time for the ...


24

US Constitution Article 1 Section 5 Clause 2: Rules Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings,... This includes how discussions are held and how votes are brought to the floor. President of the Senate Unlike in the House of Representatives, where the Speaker is both the presiding officer and the leader of the majority party, the presiding ...


22

It is true that at one point you did have to talk continuously to block a vote, but it hasn't been true for ages. Skip a few paragraphs if you don't care about the history: Originally, the Senate had a way for the majority to vote to end debate on a matter, by voting that it's time to vote (yes, really) on the matter at hand. In 1806 the President of the ...


20

When thinking about political power and influence it is important to distinguish between formal and informal power. While the law explicitly provides some powers, often times the most significant powers are entirely informal (not defined in law). The Vice Presidency is a position that largely relies on informal power. Who Runs the Senate? According to ...


20

Weakening of the Filibuster was one of the primary reasons this moved faster than previously possible. This weakening of the filibuster began in 2013, by then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid justified his action by saying: "The American people believe Congress is broken. The American people believe the Senate is broken. And I believe ...


18

You're talking about "expulsion". Expulsion is the most serious form of disciplinary action that can be taken against a Member of Congress. Article I, Section 5 of the United States Constitution provides that "Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-...


18

"Still, if they see it as a forgone conclusion, why wouldn't they take the even quicker route? Just say both sides have 30 minutes to present arguments and reach a verdict in a day, something like that." Responding to a comment in another answer, but there's a lot at play here. While we can only speculate on some of this at least, the argument ...


17

I'm not sure there any formally mandated consequences for not attending. On the other hand: Here are the guidelines for how senators are to conduct themselves during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, which is expected to begin Tuesday. They were put out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Senators should plan to be in attendance ...


15

There are a few reasons: @mmyers hit the nail on the head, in his comment above. Senators in the USA are long-living critters (*cough*Byrd*cough*) and they anticipate that throughout their careers, they may end up in the minority and want to have the filibuster. Some are simply conservative (not in the political orientation sense) and don't like to change ...


15

Here is a "Tick Tock"-style article about the end of the nomination and the vote. (This link is to the NY Times, but it's an AP article and available elsewhere, too.) It covers what happened when, but it boils down to: Committee votes to pass Kavanaugh, with the condition that the FBI do an investigation. White House authorizes a one-week investigation. (...


12

The Senate must close the debate in order to proceed. In the original rules, this required a motion called the previous question. In 1805, Aaron Burr argued that this was unnecessary and the rules were changed such that it required unanimous consent that debate was over and they were ready to vote. Until 1837, they never denied consent. From 1837 to ...


12

So, why does the Chief Justice break ties during a impeachment trial and not the Vice President, which is the usual case? See Does the Vice-President retain their tiebreaking vote during an impeachment trial of the President?. Also, what authorizes the Chief Justice to cast tie-breaking votes? Precedent. In the impeachment trial of President Andrew ...


12

As far as I'm aware, there is not explicit rule one way or the other - just tradition and the assumption about what words like "quorum" and "absent" mean. Constitutionally, this falls under the "Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings" catchall. It does require a "quorum" to do business, and "absent" members can be compelled to attend, both of ...


10

Bills expire at the end of the Congress in which they were proposed if not sent to the President to be signed. Bills that are sent to the President either expire (if Congress is out of session) or are implicitly passed (if Congress is in session) within ten days (not including Sundays). So a bill passed in 2013 would expire at the beginning of 2015, when ...


10

I would guess it's because of the Origination Clause. The ACA and the AHCA are both intimately linked to taxes, which raise funds for the government and are therefore subject to the clause.


10

Essentially, the Republicans had decided they were going to confirm Kavanaugh and do it fast in order for him to be on the bench for an October case. At that point, the hearings lasted only long enough to get enough people on board. Supreme Court justices are, by the Constitution, nominated by the President and confirmed or not by the Senate. There are ...


9

The only way the Democrats would be able to delay or block the cabinet appointments would be if 3 or more Republican senators can be convinced not to vote for the appointments. A simple majority (51 votes) in the senate is sufficient for the appointments to proceed, and that vote can't be filibustered. (Source)


9

Nothing at all From a legal standpoint the filibuster is just a parliamentary rule created by the Senate. Since the Senate creates and changes its own rules by voting on those rules, the Republican majority in the Senate could have triggered the nuclear option today in just the same way. Infact, Trump has suggested using the nuclear option again to break ...


9

No. Their specific branch of Congress may expel the Congressman for any reason with a super-majority vote, which basically telling the people whom he represents, "Try again." There may be provisions to recall a Representative through recount. Before the 17th Amendment, Senators could be recalled by the State Legislature for reasons that they didn't like ...


9

From the Rules of the Senate: (a) When a Senator desires to speak, he shall rise and address the Presiding Officer, and shall not proceed until he is recognized, and the Presiding Officer shall recognize the Senator who shall first address him. No Senator shall interrupt another Senator in debate without his consent, and to obtain such consent he ...


9

It actually took about a week longer than it could have. After the September 27 hearing with Dr. Ford and Hon. Kavanaugh testifying about the alleged sexual assult in high school, the Judiciary Committee was most ready to vote and move this forward to the full Senate. The expectation was that this would divide mostly along party lines, and Kavanaugh would ...


8

Yes, but As a general rule, Senators can walk out during almost anything. They are only forced to stay by their own conscience and how it might look to voters if they left. It's also worth noting that they have changed filibusters from requiring a Senator to give a speech to a simple vote to close debate. While Ted Cruz did give a speech for many ...


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