Representative Mike Michaud has signed on as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by "Common Cause", challenging that the Senate's use of the filibuster and 'the hold' are unconstitutional.
Rep Michaud has stated that the filibuster has evolved into a tool used by the Senate minority party to obstruct legislative business from advancing to the Senate floor. He objects strongly to the idea that one senator can singlehandedly and secretly stop certain bills.
Any Senator may threaten a filibuster, which forces the Senate to obtain 60 votes to proceed with consideration of legislation. Although final passage of the bill only requires 51 votes, the commonplace use of the filibuster means that bills must garner the support of 60 senators before they can advance to the floor. 'Holds' may be placed in secret by any one Senator and are used to indicate that a Senator plans to filibuster a bill. In practice, bills with a hold are not advanced to the floor for consideration. Since 2006 the number of filibusters in the Senate has increased more than 100%.
Click here For Rep Michaud's remarks at the Common Cause Press Conference