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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #13)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 05:13 PM

34. current filibuster has only been in its current form 37 years.




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloture#History



History

A similar procedure was adopted in the United States. This was invoked for the first time on November 15, 1919, during the 66th Congress, to end filibuster on the Treaty of Versailles.

The cloture rule originally required a supermajority of two-thirds of all senators "present and voting" to be considered filibuster-proof. For example, if all 100 Senators voted on a cloture motion, 67 of those votes would have to be for cloture for it to pass; however if some Senators were absent and only 80 Senators voted on a cloture motion, only 54 would have to vote in favor. However, it proved very difficult to achieve this; the Senate tried eleven times between 1927 and 1962 to invoke cloture but failed each time. Filibuster was particularly heavily used by Democratic Senators from Southern states to block civil rights legislation.

In 1975, the Democratic Senate majority, having achieved a net gain of four seats in the 1974 Senate elections to a strength of 61 (with an additional Independent caucusing with them for a total of 62), reduced the necessary supermajority to three-fifths (60 out of 100). However, as a compromise to those who were against the revision, the new rule also changed the requirement for determining the number of votes needed for a cloture motion's passage from those Senators "present and voting" to those Senators "duly chosen and sworn". Thus, 60 votes for cloture would be necessary regardless of whether every Senator voted. The only time a lesser number would become acceptable is when a Senate seat is vacant. (For example, if there were two vacancies in the Senate, thereby making 98 Senators "duly chosen and sworn", it would only take 59 votes for a cloture motion to pass.)

The new version of the cloture rule, which has remained in place since 1975, makes it considerably easier for the Senate majority to invoke cloture. This has considerably strengthened the power of the majority, and allowed it to pass many bills that would otherwise have been filibustered. (The Democratic Party held a two-thirds majority in the 89th Congress of 1965, but regional divisions among Democrats meant that many filibusters were invoked by Southern Democrats against civil rights bills supported by the Northern wing of the party). Some senators wanted to reduce it to a simple majority (51 out of 100) but this was rejected, as it would greatly diminish the ability of the minority to check the majority.



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babylonsister Aug 2012 OP
rfranklin Aug 2012 #1
lapfog_1 Aug 2012 #5
grantcart Aug 2012 #8
LiberalFighter Aug 2012 #13
LineLineLineLineLineReply current filibuster has only been in its current form 37 years.
grantcart Aug 2012 #34
LonePirate Aug 2012 #30
grantcart Aug 2012 #35
alfredo Aug 2012 #43
grantcart Aug 2012 #56
alfredo Aug 2012 #58
DallasNE Aug 2012 #52
Grown2Hate Aug 2012 #11
Spitfire of ATJ Aug 2012 #26
jillan Aug 2012 #2
Amonester Aug 2012 #10
Patiod Aug 2012 #44
jenmito Aug 2012 #3
sofa king Aug 2012 #4
stopbush Aug 2012 #6
Ira Aug 2012 #7
Tarheel_Dem Aug 2012 #16
vinny9698 Aug 2012 #9
starroute Aug 2012 #17
speedoo Aug 2012 #19
WI_DEM Aug 2012 #27
Ian_rd Aug 2012 #12
LiberalFighter Aug 2012 #14
Patiod Aug 2012 #45
Tarheel_Dem Aug 2012 #20
SILVER__FOX52 Aug 2012 #28
DonCoquixote Aug 2012 #15
Dustlawyer Aug 2012 #18
asjr Aug 2012 #24
groundloop Aug 2012 #21
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Douglas Carpenter Aug 2012 #23
Ironblood Aug 2012 #25
Kalidurga Aug 2012 #29
gasser85 Aug 2012 #48
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Drunken Irishman Aug 2012 #32
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thecentristword Aug 2012 #36
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agentS Aug 2012 #37
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babylonsister Aug 2012 #42
Patiod Aug 2012 #46
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grantcart Aug 2012 #49
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