Filibusters and the Senate Essay

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Marco Benois Filibusters and the Senate “In 1917 the Senate created Rule XXII in an effort to limit filibusters” (Ellis, Richard J., and Michael Nelson p. 245). Despite these efforts, the use of filibusters have continued to grow through the 21st century, essentially slowing down the Senate from passing bills and amendments to the Constitution. Those in favor of amending Rule XXII to further limit the use of filibusters such as Steven S. Smith, argue that the use of filibusters is undemocratic. Through the use of filibusters, bills and amendments that successfully reach majority vote still succumb to minority opinion. As a result, many laws have unsuccessfully made their way through the Senate despite the endorsement of the President, House of Representatives, and ironically, as well as the Senate. Nonetheless, “The Senate filibuster can be used to defeat more than legislation; it can be, and often is, used to defeat changes in the rules” (Ellis, Richard J., and Michael Nelson p. 250). On the contrary, supporters of the use of filibusters such as Wendy J. Schiller, claim that the use of filibusters is democratic in the sense that it allows minorities representation. Moreover, “the filibuster provides an essential incentive for Congress to reach a compromise among the competing interests, opinions, and ideologies that characterize American democracy” (Ellis, Richard J., and Michael Nelson p. 261). In my opinion, the argument/compromise illuminated through those who support amending Rule XXII is more logically appealing. Although I believe that those who fall in minority opinion deserve representation, and the use of filibusters opens the door for them to voice their opinions, the use of elongated filibusters despite majority rule undermines the democratic principles that are the foundation of our free country. Democracy, as defined online by Merriam-Webster, is

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