Texas Senate Erupts into Chaos at the End of Special Session
UPDATE 3:05a, June 26, 2013
At 3:03a, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst returned to the senate floor to officially state that time ran out in the special session before a vote was taken on SB 5. "Regrettably, the constitutional time for the First Called Session of the 83rd Legislature has expired," Dewhurst said. "Senate Bill 5 cannot be signed in the presence of the senate at this time and therefore cannot be enrolled."
After gavelling out the session, Dewhurst deadpanned, "It's been fun. But, see you soon," with no official sine die noted.
The special session ended at midnight, with SB 5 and a few other bills being killed. Various reports have the vote for SB 5 occurring at 12:03a amid the chaos in the senate chamber.
Governor Rick Perry does have the option to call a second special session to try to pass the abortion-restricting legislation, or any other legislation he deems necessary to the state.
The video shown below is from a group of Democrats finding out the vote for SB 5 failed, while gathered in the capitol rotunda:
Original story below:
Tuesday, in the final day of the First Called Session of the 83rd Legislature, all of the action was in the Texas Senate.
The focus was on Senate Bill 5 which, if passed, would have created new restrictions on abortions in the State of Texas.
Senator Wendy Davis (D- Fort Worth, pictured) started off Tuesday with a filibuster against SB 5. Armed with pink tennis shoes for comfort, Davis began her filibuster at 11:18a. The filibuster lasted until over 11 hours until 10:03p, when Lt. Governor David Dewhurst ruled Davis broke senate rules by straying off topic.
After Dewhurst ruled, appeals came from Davis supporters that her filibuster should stand. With the clock ticking toward midnight, and the end of the special session, numerous points of order and parliamentary inquiries were brought up.
Then, just after 11:40p, with Senator Bob Duncan (R- Lubbock) presiding over the senate in his president pro tem duties, the senate discussion became solely parliamentary inquiries.
Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D- San Antonio) then struck the match that lit the proverbial powder keg. Van de Putte asked Duncan, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?”
At that point, the galley erupted into deafening cheering ("Wendy, Wendy"), screaming and jeering. The protesting lasted over 20 minutes. Senator Duncan tried to record roll call vote and maintain order as the protesting got underway.
As of the writing of this article, 12:30a, June 26th, the Texas Senate has not adjourned Sine Die from the special session.