Filibusters in the Senate – Rand Paul’s 10 hour marathon!

Longest filibusters in History –

Filibusters are widely understood by students of US politics (and most of you will know they are amongst my favourite thing to teach!). Giving examples of people giving a filibuster is simple and examples are commonplace. However giving examples of why can be more difficult…enter Rand Paul.

Rand Paul spoke in the Senate for more than 10 hours trying to block federal government’s collection of citizen’s phone records.While he has not yet been successful in his efforts, this is a good example of WHY filibusters take place. This comes two years after Rand Paul’s nearly 13 hour filibuster to block an Obama nomination to CIA director, in which he was successful (

Having examples of people who have given filibusters is relatively simple, explaining why is more difficult and much more important in terms of gaining marks. These two examples demonstrate the effects of filibusters and the importance of unanimous consent in the Senate.