Judge dismisses filibuster lawsuit

Judge rules that accepting the lawsuit would violate the Constitution’s separation of powers.

WASHINGTON – A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Senate rules that establish a 60-vote threshold for defeating filibusters.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington ruled Friday that the plaintiffs lack the legal right to sue.

Those behind the suit are a citizen lobby group, four House members and three people who face deportation. Those three people contend that a GOP-led filibuster in 2010 prevented the Senate from voting on a bill that would have given them a legal path to citizenship.

Sullivan also ruled that to "intrude" into this area would offend the Constitution's separation of powers. He said that the Constitution doesn't have express requirements on the length or method for the 100-member Senate to debate legislation.

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