Ellison joins anti-filibuster lawsuit

Minneapolis U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison is part of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate.

"There's a saying in the U.S. of Representatives that the enemy isn't Republicans or Democrats, it's the Senate," Ellison said.

House members from both parties complain about obscure Senate rules that bog down lawmaking. In particular, they point to the filibuster, which can set a 60-vote threshold to end debate, as undemocratic.

In recent years, Senate Republicans have made unprecedented use of the filibuster to block a number of Democratic initiatives. The lawsuit filed by Ellison and the liberal group Common Cause argues it is time to do away with the filibuster.

"These rules are not in the Constitution and they frustrate the will of the American people," Ellison said.

Still, the lawsuit faces a high hurdle. The Constitution says that the House and Senate have the right to establish their own rules.

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