Famous Filibusters in Political History

  • Senator Henry ClayIn 1841 Senator Henry Clay proposed a bank bill that was opposed by Senator John C. Calhoun who began a lengthy, seemingly unending, rebuttal. Calhoun basically created the modern filibuster.celebrity gossip Clay threatened to change the Senate rules in order to close debate on the issue. Clay's colleague, Thomas Hart Benton, rebuked Clay and accused him of trying to stifle the Senate's right to unlimited debate.The U.S. Constitution does not limit the length or nature of debate on the floors of the Senate or the House of Representatives. The House has since adopted rules which limit the length of debate since the House has a very large number of Representatives. But the smaller Senate has always upheld the right of a recognized Senator to debate an issue for as long as he or she wishes to hold the floor. Senate Rule 19 and Rule 22, the cloture rule adopted in 1917, create some guidelines for conducting a debate and for closing the debate when it becomes lengthy.In 1841 Senator Henry Clay proposed a bank bill that was opposed by Senator John C. Calhoun who began a lengthy, seemingly unending, rebuttal. Calhoun basically created the modern filibuster. Clay threatened to change the Senate rules in order to close debate on the issue. Clay's colleague, Thomas Hart Benton, rebuked Clay and accused him of trying to stifle the Senate's right to unlimited debate.