• The Media will be Key to Overcoming a Senate Filibuster on Voting Rights

    by Donald A. Ritchie

    "From the Boston Massacre to Watergate, the power of the media became manifest whenever editors and reporters, convinced of the seriousness of their cause, kept a story alive until they forced people to pay attention." TV journalist Roger Mudd kept the story of the Senate's filibuster of the Civil Rights Act in the public eye. 

  • Ed Markey’s Ahistorical Attack on the Filibuster?

    According to the Post's Fact Check, Sen. Markey earns "Three Pinocchios" because, even though the filibuster became a prominent legislative tactic through the efforts of pro-slavery John C. Calhoun (and was prominently used by his ideological successors in th Jim Crow South), the South Carolina Senator didn't actually invent it. Three Pinocchios. 

  • The Filibuster’s Ugly History and Why It Must Be Scrapped

    by Sean Wilentz

    Democrats fear what a Republican Senate might do without the filibuster; they should fear what Republican state legislatures will do unless they take away the tool of obstruction standing in the way of legislation to protect voting rights. 

  • H.R. 1 Can’t Pass the Senate. But here are Some Voting Reforms that Could.

    by Richard L. Hasen

    An election law expert says that Democrats in Congress face a huge risk by pushing a large, comprehensive bill lumping voting rights protections with campaign finance and candidate disclosure provisions, instead of strategically exercising the powers already guaranteed under the Constituiton. 

  • For 100 Years, the Filibuster has been Used to Deny Black Rights

    by John Fabian Witt and Magdalene Zier

    The filibuster is often associated with Southern conservatives' opposition to civil rights legislation, but it's important to note that the modern use of the tactic emerged to defeat the 1920 Dyer anti-lynching bill – the NAACP called the filibuster a "license to mobs to lynch unmolested." 

  • One Old Way of Keeping Black People From Voting Still Works

    by Jamelle Bouie

    The Senate filibuster thwarted a bill for federal supervison and certification of state elections, allowing Mississippi to ratify a white supremacist state constitution by suppressing  the black vote. 

  • The Manifest Destiny Marauders Who Gave the “Filibuster” Its Name

    by John Pat Leary

    The original "filibusters" were mercenaries who invaded multiple Latin American nations in the interest of subverting their governments and establishing slaveholding colonies. Today the name is tied to procedural efforts to subvert democracy and impose minority rule. 

  • Democrats Can't Kill the Filibuster. But they Can Gut It

    by Norman Ornstein

    The veteran congressional analyst argues that there are reforms short of blowing up the filibuster that could win the support of two recalcitrant Democrats and allow the party to pass legislation, largely by returning to older Senate rules governing the filibuster.

  • The Filibuster That Saved the Electoral College

    Powerful Southern conservatives Strom Thurmond, Sam Ervin, and James Eastland led the 1970 filibuster that stopped the Senate from approving a constitutional amendment to elect the president by the popular vote. 

  • If Senators Won’t Kill the Filibuster, They Should at Least Sweat for It

    by Elie Mystal

    The Nation's law and politics columnist Elie Mystal examines the changes in Senate rules that have made the filibuster a low-effort, low-cost, and high-frequency event since the 1970s. Democrats can get more freedom to legislate without abolishing the filibuster if they change the rules. 

  • All the Lies They Told Us About the Filibuster

    Columnist Jonathan Chait considers the politics of the Senate filibuster and Adam Jentleson's new book "Kill Switch," concluding that much of the mythology of the filibuster as a check on knee-jerk legislation is bogus. 

  • Make the Filibuster Difficult Again

    by Burt Neuborne and Erwin Chemerinsky

    Two law professors argue that there's no need to remove the Senate filibuster. Insisting that Senators actually talk through the filibuster and that no other Senate business could be conducted during one would return to Senate rules that made the filibuster rare, rather than a routine procedure.