Sen. Rand Paul has ended his filibuster after more than 12 hours on the Senate floor. The Kentucky Republican had staged the longest talking filibuster in recent Senate memory, railing with his colleagues for more than 12 hours against what they called the danger of drone strikes to U.S. citizens on American soil.
What began as a solitary movement by Paul brought on board 14 other senators, mostly Republicans. It even led appointed Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to make his maiden Senate floor speech earlier than planned.
In filibustering the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director Paul admitted early on the effort would fail. But Paul proved considerably more successful in raising awareness of the issue.
Though Paul did not have to speak the whole time he was not allowed to leave the Senate floor. Finally, after midnight EST, Paul called it quits. "I think you very much for the forbearance, and I yield the floor," Paul said to sustained applause - a violation of Senate rules.
Conservatives rallied behind the efforts of the senator, son of former congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. Tweeted former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele (@Steele_Michael): "@SenRandPaul received a well-deserved ovation for his lessons on liberty, the Constitution and leadership.. #StandwithRand."
And radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) wrote, "Bravo @SenRandPaul and GOP senators who supported him."