Which side are you on? Is it time to get rid of the filibuster?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

I do not think that it is time to actually get rid of the filibuster completely.  Instead, I think that it is time to go back to the traditional way of filibustering.  If senators can still sustain filibusters doing it the old way, I think they should be allowed to do so.

The point of the filibuster is to make it easier for minorities of senators to block legislation.  This is in keeping with the fact that the Framers of the Constitution wanted the Senate to be a more deliberative body.  They wanted the Senate to be able to slow legislation down if the House and the people were impetuously demanding some sort of harmful legislation.  In other words, the filibuster is part of our constitutional scheme that is meant to make it harder for government to do things.  In this sense, it is valuable to us.

In the old days, filibusters had to be conducted by senators who would actually get up on the floor of the Senate and speak.  This was a lot harder than what senators typically do today, which is simply saying that they will filibuster a given bill.  If it were more difficult to filibuster, senators would not be able to do so frivolously but would still be able to block legislation when it was truly important to them. 

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