This award-winning study of today’s filibuster debate provides a historical overview of Senate rules and an updated analysis of recent controversies.
In an age of increasingly divided partisan politics, many argue that the Senate filibuster is undemocratic or even unconstitutional. Recent legislative disputes have brought criticism of Senate rules into sharp relief, and demands for abolition or reform of the filibuster have increased. In Defending the Filibuster, two experts on Senate procedure—a veteran Senate aide and a former Senate Parliamentarian—argue that the filibuster is fundamental to protecting the rights of the minority in American politics. Richard A. Arenberg and Robert B. Dove provide an instructive historical overview of the development of Senate rules, describe related procedures and tactics, and argue passionately for measured reforms.
Thoroughly updated, this edition includes a new chapter recounting the events of 2012–13 that led to the first invocation of the "nuclear option" to restrict the use of the filibuster for presidential nominations, as well as a new foreword by former US Senator Olympia Snowe. The authors offer a stimulating assessment of the likelihood of further changes in Senate procedure and make their own proposals for reform.
Winner, 2012 ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year, Gold Medal in Political Science