from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The use of obstructionist tactics, especially prolonged speechmaking, for the purpose of delaying legislative action.
- n. An instance of the use of this delaying tactic.
- n. An adventurer who engages in a private military action in a foreign country.
- intransitive v. To use obstructionist tactics in a legislative body.
- intransitive v. To take part in a private military action in a foreign country.
- transitive v. To use a filibuster against (a legislative measure, for example).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A freebooter, or mercenary soldier.
- n. A delaying tactic, especially the use of long, often irrelevant speeches given in order to delay progress or the making of a decision, especially on the floor of the US Senate.
- n. A member of a legislative body causing such obstruction.
- v. To take part in a private military action in a foreign country.
- v. To use obstructionist tactics in a legislative body.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A lawless military adventurer, especially one in quest of plunder; a freebooter; -- originally applied to buccaneers infesting the Spanish American coasts, but introduced into common English to designate the followers of Lopez in his expedition to Cuba in 1851, and those of Walker in his expedition to Nicaragua, in 1855.
- intransitive v. To act as a filibuster, or military freebooter.
- intransitive v. To delay legislation, by dilatory motions or other artifices.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A freebooter: in history, a name distinctively applied to the West Indian bucaneers or pirates of the seventeenth century. See bucaneer.
- n. Hence One of a band of men organized, in disregard of international law, for the purpose of invading and revolutionizing a foreign state.
- n. In a legislative or other deliberative body, a member in the minority who resorts to irregular or obstructive tactics to prevent the adoption of a measure or procedure which is favored by the majority. Also filibusterer.
- To act as a freebooter or bucaneer.
- To obstruct legislation by undue use of the technicalities of parliamentary law or privileges, as when the minority in a legislative assembly, in order to prevent the passage of some measure obnoxious to them, endeavor to consume time or tire out their opponents by useless motions, speeches, objections, etc.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (law) a tactic for delaying or obstructing legislation by making long speeches
- v. obstruct deliberately by delaying
- n. a legislator who gives long speeches in an effort to delay or obstruct legislation that he (or she) opposes
For some liberal critics, like Vice President Joe Biden a man who participated in countless filibusters in 36 years in the Senate or the New York Times editorial board, this is a posture of pure opportunism diametrically opposed to how they viewed the value of the legislative filibuster during the Bush presidency, while others, like Mickey Kaus, have long argued that the legislative filibuster* should go because of its role in obstructing progressive legislation.
The term filibuster traces back to the Spanish word filibustero or pirate (itself derived from the Dutch vrijbuiter or freebooter) and refers to the capacity of obstructionist legislators to hijack or "pirate" legislative debate.
The word filibuster is derived from the Spanish "filibustero" -- meaning "pirate," an entirely appropriate frame to better understand the dogma of those for whom pro-consumer means anti-business.
The term filibuster was applied at the time to American adventurers, mostly from Southern states, who wanted to overthrow the governments of Central American states - filibustering was seen as a tactic for pirating or hijacking debate for self-gain.
He can rule that a given USE of the filibuster is a violation of the constitution, and a straight up-or-down vote changes the rule in the Senate.
I agree that removing the filibuster is a bad idea.
Breaking the filibuster is the key problem, where you need 60 votes.
Although he never mentioned the word "filibuster" at the hearing, it was certainly implied.
Senator Shelby rounded up the GOP's usual suspects: President Obama, the Democrats, and even the structure of the agency itself more organization = more government = bureaucratic tyranny = higher taxes thereby imperiling recovery, and more or less renewed his vow on cable TV to block the nominee, stopping just short of using the word "filibuster."
But the filibuster is the reason there is a NEED for sixty votes.