Friday, July 12, 2013

On the `nuclear option'

Alexander Hamilton - ten dollar bill
“All provisions which require more than a majority of any body to its resolutions have a direct tendency to embarrass the operations of the government and an indirect one to subject the sense of the majority to that of the minority.”
“The history of every political establishment in which this principle has prevailed is a history of impotence, perplexity and disorder.”
-Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 75
See Emmet J. Bondurant, The Senate Filibuster: the Politics of Obstruction, Harvard Journal of Legislation 
Between 1840 and 1900, there were 16 filibusters. Between 2009 and 2010, there were more than 130. But that's changed. Today, Majority Leader Harry Reid says that "60 votes are required for just about everything."
At the core of [the Harvard Journal] argument is a very simple claim: This isn't what the Founders intended. The historical record is clear on that fact. The framers debated requiring a supermajority in Congress to pass anything. But they rejected that idea.
Mitch McConnell - not worth a nickel
h/t James Fallows 

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