Today's filibuster update

By James Fallows
In two parts. First, a useful Wikipedia chart showing how recent and a-historical the current Senate practice of filibusters for everything really is. The blue line, on the top, is the significant one: it is a gauge of how often bills or nominations were subjected to the need for a "supermajority" vote, rather than a regular Constitutional majority. The goldish line, on the bottom, indicates how often the supermajority prevailed -- how often they "broke the filibuster." As a reminder, there is nothing in the Constitution about this practice. (Supermajorities for certain situations, like impeachment or ratifying treaties or passing Constitutional Amendments, yes; as a general practice, no.) Click on graph for larger view.

ClotureWikipedia.png

Also, my On the Media interview on this topic, with Bob Garfield, here. (Previously about filibusters here and passim. Very good omnibus piece by Tim Noah in Slate, here. To round things out, yesterday's All Things Considered discussion with Guy Raz, though not about filibusters, here.)

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/01/todays-filibuster-update/34094/