Rethinking the Senate: The Modern Filibuster, Political Appointments, and Minority Rule

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With 60 votes required to override a filibuster, even the Democrats’ narrow Senate majority doesn’t guarantee that President Biden’s legislation will pass. The modern filibuster, where senators delay or block a bill just by signaling their intent to filibuster, is enough to kill a bill. The Senate rules have been tweaked over the past decade, but that’s not enough to escape the filibuster’s role in history -- it became a tool to uphold slavery and block civil rights laws. Amid calls to #EndtheFilibuster and reform the Senate rules, we’ll take a step back and talk about the Senate’s role in upholding minority rule. 


Adam Jentleson, Author of Killswitch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy and Executive Director of Battle Born Collective