Again, Sen. Ted Cruz's marathon speech that wrapped up at noon Wednesday after more than 21 hours was not technically a talking filibuster. While the Texas Republican vowed to talk until he was "no longer able to stand," Cruz faced a more concrete deadline to yield the floor at noon regardless of how his body was holding up. Still, for those wondering, here's how Cruz's epic talkathon would have ranked if it would have been a real-life talking filibuster of the kind made famous by Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
The 10 longest U.S. Senate filibusters since the upper chamber began keeping detailed records in 1900, via the Associated Press (duration; senator; issue; year):
1.) 24 hours, 18 minutes: Strom Thurmond, civil rights bill, 1957.
2.) 23:30: Alfonse D'Amato, military bill, 1986.
3.) 22:26: Wayne Morse, Tidelands oil bill, 1953.
[Cruz held the floor for more than 21 hours.]
4.) 18:23: Robert La Follette Sr., currency bill, 1908.
5.) 16:12: William Proxmire, debt increase, 1981.
6.) 15:30: Huey Long, La., industrial recovery, 1935.
7.) 15:14: D'Amato, tax bill, 1992.
8.) 14:13: Robert Byrd, civil rights bill, 1964.
9.) 12:52: Rand Paul, use of drones against American citizens, 2013.
10.) 8:39: Harry Reid, protesting a Republican-led filibuster, 2003.
Under Senate rules, Cruz was allowed to yield to colleagues for long-form questions—something he did several times during the course of his marathon speech—but could not leave the floor or sit down while his effort was under way. (Paul's filibuster from earlier this year, like many before his, was ultimately halted by nature's inevitable call. For more on how Thurmond managed to last as long as he did, head here.)
This post has been updated.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Democrats’ War at Home
How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns
Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing
Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10
Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.
Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.
How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.
How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully
On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.