Elizabeth Warren’s historically sound case against the filibusterRoundup
tags: filibuster, Senate, Elizabeth Warren
Julian Zelizer is a political historian at Princeton University. He is co-author of "Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974."
Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) this month called for a fundamental change to the rules of the Senate: She wants to eliminate the filibuster, the procedure that allows a minority of the chamber to tie up legislation by continuing debate indefinitely. The minority can do so because, under filibuster rules, 60 senators must vote to end debate on legislation.
“When Democrats have the White House again, if Mitch McConnell tries to do what he did to President Obama and puts small-minded partisanship ahead of solving the massive problems facing this country, then we should get rid of the filibuster,” Warren said in New York.
Many Democrats oppose this change or at least have significant qualms. “Having just lived through being in the minority and how destructive the 51-vote threshold has been for Supreme Court justices, I just want to think long and hard about it,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) has said. And Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) has argued that “we should not be doing anything to mess with the strength of the filibuster” — although he recently opened the doorto changing his mind. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is a skeptic, while South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg sides with Warren.
Protectors of congressional “norms” will oppose Warren’s proposal, but the truth is that the filibuster — a 19th-century invention unmentioned in the Constitution — is an anti-majoritarian tool within an institution that already favors the minority.
comments powered by Disqus
- Top Ten differences between the Iraq War and Trump’s Proposed Iran War
- Woodrow Wilson Foundation Releases Findings on Why Americans Don't Know History
- How will Obama be remembered? A massive new oral history project will help shape his legacy.
- 30 Years Later, Making Sense Of The MOVE Bombing
- They Resisted Hitler. They Were Executed. At Last, They Lie at Rest.
- Historians Argue That The History Major Won’t Go the Way of the Dodo
- Tenure, Twitter and Taking Her Board to Task
- The new Statue of Liberty Museum is a quiet paean to America’s embrace of immigrants—but what is there to celebrate?
- McCullough’s new book on pioneers’ history draws criticism
- What to Do With Richmond’s Confederate Statues