Shouts and chants filled the chamber of a special session of the Texas Senate as the clock neared midnight. For 13 hours a Democratic senator from Fort Worth -- Wendy Davis -- had held sway over the legislative session in a filibuster designed to block a controversial anti-abortion bill.
At about 11:45 p.m., the Republican majority was trying to force a vote before the deadline passed. The only thing stopping them was the gallery, packed with opponents who began chanting so loudly and so persistently that taking a vote was difficult at best.
Midnight passed and the Senate had not adjourned. At first, several Senate staffers said the legislation passed in a 17-12 vote, reflected on the Senate website.
An hour later, Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst conceded the vote came too late, and Davis’ grassroots filibuster had succeeded.
The filibuster riveted national attention. More than 100,000 people were watching the Texas Tribune’s live-stream of the session, and the hashtag #standwithwendy was trending all day and all night Tuesday and well into Wednesday morning.
Have seen nothing like this in #txlege in 22 years. Not even close. Waiting for someone to yell "Attica."— Evan Smith (@evanasmith) June 26, 2013
It's officially over, #SB5 did not receive Senate approval— Becca Aaronson (@becca_aa) June 26, 2013
After a brief celebration from Davis’ supporters, confusion erupted when news organizations, including the Associated Press, reported that the bill had passed.
I FEEL HONORED JUST TO HAVE WITNESSED WHAT HAPPENED TONIGHT— Amber Eeeeeee (@rare_basement) June 26, 2013
BREAKING: Republicans pass new restrictions expected to close almost every abortion clinic in Texas.— The Associated Press (@AP) June 26, 2013
What?? “@AP: BREAKING: Republicans pass new restrictions expected to close almost every abortion clinic in Texas.”— Shaun Norton (@ShaunNorton) June 26, 2013
Huh? Who else is confused? RT @AP: BREAKING: Republicans pass new restrictions expected to close almost every abortion clinic in Texas.— Leslie Aguilar (@LeslieAguilarTV) June 26, 2013
Brown (@HayesBrown) June 26, 2013
People following on Twitter began grabbing screenshots of the Texas Senate results page:
Still uncertain if a vote on #SB5 happened before midnight. Senators still on floor.— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) June 26, 2013
Bold, bipartisan vote from the California Senate tonight.— Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) June 26, 2013
Then, close to 1 a.m. in Austin, confirmation came.
With Twittersphere focused on Texas abortion drama, Brown had to reissue enterprise zone tweet to clarify he was talking about CA senate.— Chris Megerian (@ChrisMegerian) June 26, 2013
Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, meanwhile, declared that a battle was ahead.
Thanks to the powerful voices of thousands of Texans, #SB5 is dead. An incredible victory for Texas women and those who love them.— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) June 26, 2013