Louisiana Senator Huey Long (Photo: Library of Congress)

Lawmakers in Austin, Texas, stayed up late on Tuesday, thanks to State Representative Wendy Davis, who staged a filibuster to prevent a bill restricting abortion from passing before a midnight deadline expired. Texas Republicans tried to push the bill through anyway, but eventually the bill missed that deadline. Filibusters are pretty common here in the US but it's a tradition that often strikes outsiders as strange. We wanted to find out more about filibusters: Where do they come from and what other countries, if any, use them? So we contacted Gerry Loewenberg, a political science professor at the University of Iowa.

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