These rulings were achieved in much the same way as senators enforce or revise their rules because the members of the House could not and did not invoke an already-enforceable cloture rule
58) When extended debate finally morphed into blind obstruction, a cloture rule
was adopted for the first time in 1917, (59) which may have had the perverse effect of enshrining the notion of supermajority rules in the Senate for the first time.
Congress on revising the cloture rule
as if it were itself a cloture
But what if the current Senate cloture rule
is not binding?
Townsend, in announcing that he would reluctantly support the cloture rule
only because "it is not very radical," said "I have realized .
T]he anti-entrenchment objection to the cloture rule
is really a wholesale objection to constitutionalism as such.
77) Their joint effect is to entrench the supermajority cloture rule
against change by any simple majority in subsequent Senates, because a motion to change Rule XXII would itself be considered (by virtue of Rule V) in compliance with Rule XXII's supermajority cloture requirement; similarly, Rule V itself could not be first amended by a simple majority.
For further information, see CRS Report RL32684, Changing Senate Rules: The "Constitutional" or "Nuclear" Option, by Betsy Palmer; CRS Report RL32843, 'Entrenchment' of Senate Procedure and the 'Nuclear Option' for Change: Possible Proceedings and Their Implications, by Richard Beth; CRS Report RL32149, Proposals to Change the Senate Cloture Rule
, by Christopher Davis and Betsy Palmer; and CRS Report RL32874, Standing Order and Rulemaking Statute: Possible Alternatives to the "Nuclear Option"?
As I read their arguments, it seems to invalidate part of the Senate's cloture rule
-- the part of the rule that provides that the supermajority requirement to suspend debate can be repealed only by 3/5 vote.
64) Indeed, until 1917, the Senate did not have a cloture rule
at all; the ability of members to hold up majoritarian legislation was limited only by their endurance.
By making it hard to stop filibusters, the cloture rule
encourages more fully informed discussion and thus falls within the rationale of the Constitution's grant of rulemaking power to both houses.
Another aspect of congressional procedure that has been the subject of numerous reforms is the Senate cloture rule
, Senate Rule XXII.