Fillibuster – Unconstiutional?


The right loves to point out that- even since the midterm elections, Obama and the Dems control “2/3” of the legislative branch of government. Which is *true* in the strictest sense. 51 Dems, 2 independents, 47 Republicans.

But since Obama took office, and especially since the midterm elections we have seen a sharp, record setting rise of the use of the filibuster, led by republicans. A filibuster that requires 60 votes to override. Effectively shutting down discussion of any, and every topic the republicans don’t want to discuss- which apparently, is most things.

Now, one of the top lawyers in the nation, Emmet Bondurant, is suing to have the fillibuster declared uncostiutional. He laid out his reasoning in the Harvard Law School Journal on Legislation in 2011.

More in an article at the Washington Post here

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About drugsandotherthings

I am a criminal. Because I have used cannabis and psychedelics extensively. I have tried many other drugs, but never cared for the uppers, downers, or dissociatives. I love craft beer, and absinthe, but don't care much for alcohols effects- which quite frankly, are boring and dangerous. Science is my religion. I am in my 40's, and have travelled extensively. And often forced myself outside of my confort zone. I am employed, a respected member of my communtiy, an animal lover, an environmentalist, a political junkie, and the realities I have experienced continue to push me further to the left of the political spectrum.
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3 Responses to Fillibuster – Unconstiutional?

  1. I suppose Monsieur Bondurant was fine with the fillibuster until 2010, huh? Why don’t we just ixnay the veto privilege while we’re at it. Come to think of it, I think the Judiciary has far too much power….

  2. Utah says:

    This post is a crock of crap.

    Whatever reality makes you feel good about your incompetent president, right Drugs?

    110th Congress: Senate – 49R/49D, the two independent members of the Senate chose to caucus with the Democratic Party and thus are considered to be a part of the majority. The two Senators? Bernie Sanders, the only openly avowed socialist and Joe Lieberman. House – 236D/199R. 111th: Senate 58D/40R or 56D/42R depending on when you counted it and still the same two “independents” who caucused with the Democrats.

    Filibusters could have been overridden with the votes that they had. Filibusters are also created by Senate rules – and rules can be changed. It’s not like they are permanent but as this Reason magazine articles notes (http://reason.com/blog/2012/05/18/the-misguided-anti-filibuster-crusade-of), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was for them before he was against them and the 60 vote “supermajority” was a creation of the Democrats to prevent the Republicans passing their agenda during Republican control from 1994 to 2006.

    As far as your assertion for the increase in filibusters, that is wrong according to a study by the Congressional Research Service, which said that In the 2007–08 session of Congress, there were 112 cloture votes and some have used this number to argue an increase in the number of filibusters occurring in recent times. However, the Senate leadership has increasingly utilized cloture as a routine tool to manage the flow of business, even in the absence of any apparent filibuster. For these reasons, the presence or absence of cloture attempts cannot be taken as a reliable guide to the presence or absence of a filibuster. Inasmuch as filibustering does not depend on the use of any specific rules, whether a filibuster is present is always a matter of judgment. (http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30360.pdf)

    So, in other words, your entire post here is nothing but fantasy – or as we call it in the real world, a lie.

    • Ok- first off Utah- I don’d fully agree with the story behind this post. I do feel, if you bother to read the paper- that he raises some interesting points. And I do feel we have seen seen an unamerican abuse of these rules. Which as far as I can tell originally intended to stop a slim majority in power from ramming bills through without proper debate- and to give the minority party not only time to present their case- but to try and swing votes.

      I will also point out that while “filibuster” is the term bandied about- much of what is being discussed is indeed cloture. And I would assume this is because of the assumption that most americans have at least a vague understanding of the concept of filibuster, while far fewer have ever even heard of cloture.

      As to the 110th congress- yes- I pointed out in the reply that brought you to this post the split- and the two (I’s) siding with Dems. I also pointed out the fact that numerous southern, midwestern, and western D’s vote with republicans on many issues. Regardless- 51 votes does not override a filibuster or invoke cloture- that requires a 3/5 vote.

      And no- the 60 vote majority was not a “Democratic creation” in the 90’s. The 3/5 rule came about in 1975 (yes, by Democrats) – reducing the needed vote from 3/4 to 3/5, with the concession to republicans that this applied to the total of the senate and not just those present for the vote.

      And yes. as a senate rule it *can* be changed. But only on january 1st or march 1st (how effing weird is THAT?!) and requires what is commonly referred to as “the nuclear option” (for history on this look to the democrats fillibusters of Bush judicial nominees in 2005- and the resulting “gang of 14- 7 influential senators from both sides who came together to make sure americas work got done)

      And yes- again, let’s not split hairs about cloture/fillibuster. Just review the bills (including, what, 14+ job bills that republicans killed rather then allow discussion/vote). And let’s face it- since the midterm elections congress has passed both a new record in failing to pass major legislation while setting a new record for cloture/filibuster at the hands of the GOP.

      So no- this is not “a crock of crap”, a “fantasy” or a “Lie”. It is actual, verifible fact. But of course you and yours have gotten your way- so anything to the contrary must be BS…as that seems to be the new way of thinking.

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