House Democrats Adopt Martial Law Rule

Wed, 15 Dec 2010 19:41:55 +0000


UPDATE: Some readers of this post are confusing this with martial law. Please note that “martial law rule” is NOT “martial law”! The Democrats had NOT declared martial law in the United States. That being said, I have no idea why Congress gave this obscure parliamentary rule the alarming name of “martial law rule.” I think they did that out of sheer perversity.


Keep an especially watchful eye on the lameduck Congress.

Last Wednesday, December 8, the Democrat Majority adopted a Martial Law Rule. This rule allows for the consideration of any legislation, at any time, with very little notice, through December 18.

The Martial Law Rule is a parliamentary procedure so obscure and little known that Wikipedia doesn’t even have an entry on it. The rule is used by Congress to force a vote by dispensing with a longstanding House rule (Rule XIII(6a)) intended to give U.S. Representatives and the public enough time to understand significant legislation. That House rule requires that there be at least one day between a bill’s unveiling and the House floor vote, and can only be suspended if two-thirds of the House agrees. The curiously-named Martial Law Rule dispenses with Rule XIII(6a). Critics on both the left and the right have denounced the tactic, saying it empowers the majority party’s leadership to act in an authoritarian manner and endangers democratic self-government by forcing members to vote blindly on measures demanded by their leaders. [Source]

H/t beloved fellow Tina.


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