December 27, 2012

Common Cause v. Biden, challenging the Senate filibuster, was "a nostalgic evocation of the old days of public law litigation."

Observes Garrett Epps.
The federal courts have become almost implacably hostile to this kind of reform lawsuit, and those who bring them know that their chances of victory are vanishingly slim. Whatever one may think of the filibuster, however, we can be glad this suit was dismissed; its cure for the filibuster would be worse than the disease.

12 comments:

campy said...

Democrats should simply end the filibuster. They can always put it back in the (unlikely) event that they ever lose their majority.

The GOP would cave without much protest.

Crunchy Frog said...

Please. The Senate was designed to slow things down on purpose.

Complaining that you can't ram through bills as quick as you can in the House is ridiculous. Besides, if you have a problem with the way it's run, just look at the idiots in charge of it.

Hagar said...

I think a good case can be made for retaining the "active" filibuster, while throwing out the current "I filibuster!" "oh, well, OK, we'll go on to the next item then" system.

But then, in this last couple of Congresses, how many bills have died in the Senate because of Republican "filibusters" vs. Harry Reid "pocket vetoing" them?

SteveR said...

I happen to believe as Hager points out, that the pocket veto, Harry Reid simply deciding to not let a bill see the light of day, is worse.

Sure these things work both ways but Reid makes me very glad that the fillibuster exists.

gregq said...

Got to love all the crying coming from the Left over this. It's so enjoyable watching the people who changed the rules, now whining and crying when it comes back to hurt them.

How many filibusters did the Republicans engage in 1993 - 1994? How many did the Democrats engage in 2003 - 2006? They changed the traditions, now they get to pay for it.

Superdad said...

It is not a flaw but part of the design that many, many bills die long before a vote is taken. Bad ideas are supposed to die off in a parliamentary setting. Items are tabled, sent back to committee, held over to the next meeting, amended until unrecognizable, reconsidered etc. The filibuster simply allows a substantial minority to hold up a bill. We decry it as "anti-democratic," but that is a label not a judgment. The Court's too are anti-democratic and we seem to see them as a good thing ...

Pogo said...

"The cure is worse than the disease" is the modus operandi for the Democratic Party, and the state motto of Illinois.

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John said...

Cloture itself is relatively new. Up until 1917 it did not exist.

Up until 1917, Senators had the absolute right of unlimited debate (filibuster) and there was no mechanism to stop them.

I agree wholeheartedly with the concept of the filibuster but think it should be limited to active filibustering.

Want to filibuster? Get up on your hind legs and keep talking for as long as you are physically able. Get a couple of others to relieve you in shifts if you can to keep it going.

Other than that, no.

John Henry

edutcher said...

The problem is with the word. It has that Senator Claghorne sound to it.

ken in sc said...

Originally, a filibuster was when a small group of adventurers and or mercenaries took over the established government of a small country—usually in Latin America. The term was broadened, by exaggeration, to include when a single US Senator took to the floor of the senate and refused to give it up by continuing to talk unless a super majority voted to shut him up. Nowadays, the Senate version of the term is one that survives, and that in a much diluted form.

If this had come about 150 years later, it would be called a coup instead of a filibuster.

ken in sc said...

Also,John Henry is right and I agree with him.