Chapter 7 - No Cheating
It’s ironic that we teach our children to play fair, take turns, and share with others, yet we tolerate the idea that the work of the Senate can be brought to a screeching halt by what, in any other context, might be called bullying: the filibuster!
The filibuster, as a reminder, works like this: any Senator can take the floor and speak for as long as they wish, about anything they wish. As long as they keep this up, the work of the Senate stops. The longest filibuster on record was conducted by Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who spoke for over 24 hours against the Civil Rights Act of 1957. But that was just the tip of the iceberg; during the nearly three months of deliberations on that bill, nearly two out of every three days were lost to filibusters.
Surprising to some, perhaps, is that the word “filibuster” never appears in the U.S. Constitution. It was not created, nor even anticipated, by the framers. The filibuster is an artifice of congressional rules, about which all the Constitution says is: “Each House may determine its rules of proceedings…”....[Purchase the book here to keep reading]