Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday — simply by asking for a recorded vote — managed to kill an amendment that would have clarified that the military can indefinitely detain enemy combatants.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), called the amendment to the floor, explaining it ought to garner the support of all senators because it would simply “clarify” that enemy combatants acquitted of crimes in a court can still be held in military detention until they are no longer deemed a threat.
Looking to spare vulnerable Democrats from an awkward vote on the controversial issue of extra-judicial military detention, Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), with the assent of his Republican counterpart John McCain (R-Ariz.), attempted to swiftly pass the amendment by unanimous consent.
“I think that this can be accepted on voice vote,” Levin said, when Sessions finished presenting the amendment. “I have great problems with it, but I think there is probably a majority here that will favor it.”
But from across the chamber, Paul demanded a recorded vote on the amendment, which resulted in a resounding 41-59 defeat.