The majority leader could decline to sidetrack filibustered
bills, force a debate until the minority is exhausted, and hold the Senate in session to avoid resetting the two-speech per day limit, but experience has shown that, in a battle of wills, a determined minority will prevail.
It is nonsensical that a motion to suspend the rules can be filibustered
, and the current two-thirds supermajority to suspend the rules was concocted out of thin air in defiance of the ordinary interpretation of Rule V.
An alternative approach might be to change the rules to restrict the kinds of matters that could be filibustered
. Both parties have at times advocated eliminating filibusters on executive and judicial nominations, for example, a topic I have chosen not to address specifically in this paper.
(32) Seventeen of the 35 nominations filibustered
were to Article III courts.
Similarly, during the Truman Administration, 3414 bills were enacted--compared to three civil rights bills filibustered
. I gave a speech on this very issue at the beginning of the recent historic 40-hour round-the-clock Senate debate on judicial nominations.
The omnibus abortion bill Davis successfully filibustered
in the first special legislative session would have tightened restrictions on facilities that provide abortions and banned the procedure after 20 weeks.
By contrast, an average of just one bill was filibustered
each session of Congress during the 1950s.
Although Reid and other backers of the filibusters have claimed that they have used the procedure to block "extremist" nominees, the filibustered
nominees generally have received high ratings from the American Bar Association and home-state legal associations.
Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, successfully filibustered
a bill to death that would have established new restrictions on abortions and abortion facilities.
That year a few senators filibustered
a bill to allow merchant vessels to arm themselves against German attacks.
Forty-three of the 49 Democratic senators failed to support ending the filibuster against even one of the 10 filibustered
Last week the president resubmitted two of the filibustered