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filibuster



  • How Did the Senate Get Supermajority Gridlock?

    by Lindsay M. Chervinsky

    The framers clearly intended for majority rule in the passage of legislation in the Senate. So how did we get to the point where a majority can't do anything? 



  • No, John Calhoun Didn't Invent the Filibuster

    by Robert Elder

    A new book castigating the filibuster traces it back to the parliamentary maneuvers of pro-slavery ideologue John C. Calhoun. One needn't embrace either Calhoun or the filibuster to recognize this is historically incorrect. 



  • The Filibuster is an Anti-Worker Rule, Too

    by Emily DiVito and Suzanne Kahn

    Since 1948, the filibuster has blocked three major labor reform bills affecting "right to work" laws, streamlining the union recognition process, and protecting workers from retaliation during labor disputes. Eliminating it is critical for economic justice. 



  • Bouie: Manchin and Sinema Have Their History Wrong

    Bipartisan support for 1960s civil rights legislation was an artifact of a fleeting moment of ideological diversity within the two parties. When it comes to voting and civil rights laws, partisan polarization has been the historical norm, and it's nothing to fear now when ballot access is at risk across the nation.



  • Save Democracy: Abolish the Senate

    by Michael Tomasky

    Great Britain made the wise choice of diminishing the political power of the House of Lords. The New Republic's editor says that the history of Parliament and Congress shows it's time to do the same to the Senate. 



  • The Senate’s Unchanging Rules

    by Donald A. Ritchie

    Continued obstructionism is likely to push the Democrats to more radical alteration of Senate rules, including the filibuster, says the long-tenured Senate Historian.



  • Academics Address the Filibuster

    Seth Cotlar notes that history doesn't directly inform present action, but since advocates for retaining the filibuster had used many bad historical claims in their arguments it is only fair for historians to weigh in on the debate. 



  • The Media will be Key to Overcoming a Senate Filibuster on Voting Rights

    by Donald A. Ritchie

    "From the Boston Massacre to Watergate, the power of the media became manifest whenever editors and reporters, convinced of the seriousness of their cause, kept a story alive until they forced people to pay attention." TV journalist Roger Mudd kept the story of the Senate's filibuster of the Civil Rights Act in the public eye. 



  • Ed Markey’s Ahistorical Attack on the Filibuster?

    According to the Post's Fact Check, Sen. Markey earns "Three Pinocchios" because, even though the filibuster became a prominent legislative tactic through the efforts of pro-slavery John C. Calhoun (and was prominently used by his ideological successors in th Jim Crow South), the South Carolina Senator didn't actually invent it. Three Pinocchios. 



  • The Filibuster’s Ugly History and Why It Must Be Scrapped

    by Sean Wilentz

    Democrats fear what a Republican Senate might do without the filibuster; they should fear what Republican state legislatures will do unless they take away the tool of obstruction standing in the way of legislation to protect voting rights. 



  • H.R. 1 Can’t Pass the Senate. But here are Some Voting Reforms that Could.

    by Richard L. Hasen

    An election law expert says that Democrats in Congress face a huge risk by pushing a large, comprehensive bill lumping voting rights protections with campaign finance and candidate disclosure provisions, instead of strategically exercising the powers already guaranteed under the Constituiton.