US Senate

  • What if the Constitution is the Source of Democratic Erosion?

    by Noah Feldman

    James Madison feared from the beginning that the design of the US Senate was contrary to the core principles of a democratic republic. A Harvard Law professor says that if the nation can survive with a fundamentally undemocratic institution at the heart of the government, partisan gerrymandering might not be too bad. 

  • The Senate is a Long-Term Threat to Democracy

    by Thomas Zimmer

    The idea that the Senate is "the world's greatest deliberative body" is American exceptionalism that hides the undemocratic nature of the institution.

  • Inaction By Design: Blame the Founders for Stalled Legislation

    by Calvin Schermerhorn

    Although two Senators have been singled out by many liberals as villains, "today’s legislative sausage factory evokes the Founders’ recipe for federal inaction — and their suspicion of democracy."

  • Save Democracy: Abolish the Senate

    by Michael Tomasky

    Great Britain made the wise choice of diminishing the political power of the House of Lords. The New Republic's editor says that the history of Parliament and Congress shows it's time to do the same to the Senate. 

  • John Warner, Genteel Senator from Virginia, Dies at 94

    "A debonair Virginian, Mr. Warner was sometimes called the senator from central casting; his ramrod military posture, distinguished gray hair and occasionally overblown speaking style fit the Hollywood model."

  • The Senate’s Unchanging Rules

    by Donald A. Ritchie

    Continued obstructionism is likely to push the Democrats to more radical alteration of Senate rules, including the filibuster, says the long-tenured Senate Historian.

  • 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. 

  • Democrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed

    The Senate negotiations over the Affordable Care Act and the 2009 Recovery Act are not ancient history. It remains to be seen if Senate Democrats can learn from them. 

  • American Democracy Was Never Supposed to Work

    by Richard Kreitner

    "Merely ousting Trump is not enough without addressing more fundamental weaknesses in our political system, especially an outdated Constitution that continues to serve a minority of wealthy and white citizens and to curb any movements that might threaten their wealth and power."