It Is Time to Abolish the Filibuster Rule
“A filibuster (from Early Modern English, c. 1580: filibutor, ‘pirate’) is a parliamentary procedure where debate over a proposed piece of legislation is extended, allowing one or more members to delay or entirely prevent a vote on the proposal. It is sometimes referred to as ‘talking out a bill’ or ‘talking a bill to death’ and characterized as a form of obstruction in a legislature or other decision-making body.” —the Wikipedia
How the Filibuster Works
The filibuster is a parliamentary device, which, at the time of this writing, is still utilized in the United States Senate. Senate rules allow a US Senator—or a team of US Senators—to hold forth before the US Senate for as long as he or she or they wish, upon any topic whatsoever. This can go on, until such time as “three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn” (that is, 60 senators out of 100) choose to end debate by invoking cloture, according to Senate Rule XXII.
Unprincipled Democrats End the Filibuster Rule for Certain Votes
On November 21, 2013, the Senate, under the guidance of Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid, voted, in a 52 to 48 vote, to require only a majority vote to end a filibuster of all executive and judicial nominees, excluding Supreme Court nominees. They probably did this, due to the fact that the Democrats—not foreseeing any likelihood that they might have another opportunity to vote for a Supreme Court nominee during Obama’s tenure as president—wished to preserve the filibuster for themselves, with respect to the Supreme Court, just in case a Republican might win the presidency in 2016. In the meantime, the Democrats used the new rule to pack the circuit courts with radical jurists that never could have made it through the process under the old rule.
Why the Filibuster Should Be Abolished Altogether
Now that Neil Gorsuch has been nominated to the Supreme Court, there is an opportunity to gain back some of the ground that was lost under Obama. A jurist who will rule by the Constitution and the laws, instead of legislating from the bench, would do much to restore the rule of law in our constitutional republic. Besides, if the Republicans do not rid the Senate of the filibuster rule, recent history suggests that the Democrats will likely get rid of the filibuster, anyway, the next time they are in the majority. Democrats are not known for their fairness to Republicans.
Remember the Reconciliation Process?
Back when Senator Edward Kennedy died, Republican Scott Brown was elected out of Massachusetts—a state that normally votes for progressive Democrats—for the sole purpose of blocking a sixty-vote majority by the Democrats in the Senate, thereby denying the Democrats the 60 Senators needed for a cloture vote to prevent a filibuster of Obamacare that would potentially block Obamacare from being passed.
So, when Republicans in the minority tried to use the filibuster rule, now having 41 US Senators, the Democrats simply declared that, since there are taxes in Obamacare, the Reconciliation Process—traditionally used for bills having to do with money—could be used to pass the new healthcare law on a simple majority vote.
So, whenever Republicans play by the rules, Democrats just reinterpret the rules, anyway. Or else, they just choose not to pass laws at all but, instead, in collusion with an anti-Constitutional executive, allow laws to be dictated by executive order, executive memo, or executive phone-calls. Obama formally announced the new era of presidential dictatorship in early 2014, declaring, “I have a pen, and I have a phone!” (Executive orders are not mentioned in the Constitution at all, and their proper use is merely as a clarification of policy. A frustrated executive is not allowed to make law without the Congress.)
Trumpism: The Movement to Restore the US Constitution and the Rule of Law
In a day when Democrats threaten to govern by statist edicts and street brutality, Republicans wish to restore our democratic republic, for the sake of life, the cause of liberty, and right to own the fruits of one’s own labor. Getting rid of a filibuster rule that simply allows the democratic process to be brought to a standstill “while Rome burns” is a step in the right direction. And Mitch McConnell should probably do more than ending the filibuster only in cases of presidential appointments; the Majority Leader of the Senate ought simply to abolish the filibuster rule altogether.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com