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Senate



  • 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? 



  • The Disturbing Precedent for McConnell’s Debt-Ceiling Brinksmanship

    by Lindsay M. Chervinsky

    Mitch McConnell's use of Senate rules and the body's disproportionate representation to ensure that Democrats who represent 41.5 million more people than Republicans are unable to govern. His tactics echo those of the antebellum Slavocracy. 



  • 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. 



  • 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. 



  • For 100 Years, the Filibuster has been Used to Deny Black Rights

    by John Fabian Witt and Magdalene Zier

    The filibuster is often associated with Southern conservatives' opposition to civil rights legislation, but it's important to note that the modern use of the tactic emerged to defeat the 1920 Dyer anti-lynching bill – the NAACP called the filibuster a "license to mobs to lynch unmolested."