Friday, December 3, 2010

A Weak Proposal For Reforming the Filibuster

Over at Balkinization, Professor Gerard N. Magliocca makes a rather weak proposal to "reform" the filibuster by limiting delay to "only" one year.

I don't see what is supposedly accomplished by thwarting the will of a majority of the Senate for such a long period of time. First of all, our founders really did not want political parties, but we now have political parties that behave in a manner very similar to a parliamentary system rather than exercising much independent judgment. In such an environment where political parties oppose for the sake of opposing, all that Professor Magliocca's proposal would accomplish is unnecessary delay. Worse, the proposal is unprincipled, in that it actually accepts the principle that the will of a majority in the Senate should be thwarted by a minority, contrary to the design of the Senate. Also, the proposal would have the affect of making legislation supported by a majority but not a supermajority impossible to pass within a year of an election, narrowing the window of opportunity to get anything significant done to only one year after an election.

It really is an unfortunate proposal, and one that is not much of an improvement over the status quo.

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