This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on how recent Supreme Court decisions have restricted protections of American workers and consumers. Fulfilling their role as the Grand Obstructionist Party, Senate conservatives deployed an obscure parliamentary tactic to halt the hearing, as committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) explained:
This morning an all too familiar pattern was underscored when a hearing on a topic our Republican colleagues did not like was cut short, without warning, by an anonymous Republican objection. … I share the sentiments Senator Whitehouse expressed before recessing the hearing — this behavior is a disgrace to the Senate, and it is especially shameful given that the victims who traveled a long way to tell their stories to the Committee did not get a full hearing.
Conservatives used the same technique yesterday to shut down a hearing on torture tactics used against detainees in U.S. custody.