Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time: 4 Ways Filibusters Turned Awful


The method for eliminating the filibuster is actually fairly easy: The Senate simply has to vote on it. The largest irony over that is rather like some other resolution the Senate makes, it needs to be debated, which suggests the act of ending the filibuster might itself be stalemated by a goddamn filibuster! 

There’s a reverse Uno card to the filibuster although, and it’s known as “the nuclear choice.” It breaks down like this: The Senate Majority Chief raises some extent of order that contravenes a standing procedural rule… one thing like, “Hey, this 60 vote cloture factor is silly. A 51 vote easy majority must work simply effective, proper?”

The presiding officer then denies the purpose of order: “That’s a no from me, dawg.”

The Majority Chief appeals the ruling and requires a vote: “You certain about that? Present of fingers, everybody?”

Solely a easy majority is required to overrule the ruling, during which case the presiding officer should adhere to that call: “Properly, crap.”

U.S. Senate

We aren’t holding our breaths for that actual trade, however it could lastly make C-SPAN momentarily attention-grabbing.

This energy play has solely occurred twice. In 2013, then-Senate Majority Chief Harry Reid invoked the nuclear choice to get rid of the filibuster for any Presidential or judicial nominees apart from these for the Supreme Court docket. The reasoning behind this was these positions wanted to be crammed shortly, there was far an excessive amount of work that wanted to be accomplished, and there merely wasn’t any time for partisan squabbling. The plan labored, however that doesn’t imply that each nominee simply sailed via affirmation, although. A few of them obtained turned down, however at the very least none of them obtained held hostage by a rubbish procedural rule. 

The second time was in 2017, when the following Senate Majority Chief, Mitch McConnell, used the nuclear choice to take Reid’s thought a step additional and get rid of the filibuster for Supreme Court docket nominees as nicely. McConnell’s efforts weren’t precisely as noble, although. The GOP wished to put in Donald Trump-appointed nominee Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court docket with as little obstruction as potential. Which might’ve been effective in the event that they hadn’t been stonewalling Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland for the earlier 10 months. 

Dick transfer, Mitch. Dick transfer.

Dan Fritschie is a author, comic, and frequent over-thinker. He could be discovered on Twitter, and he thanks you on your time.

Prime picture: Keith Lamond/Shutterstock

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