Harry Reid’s trying to rewrite history on the filibuster
Under Senate rules, it takes 67 votes to change the rules. Reid, however, may decide that in January, on the first day of the new session, the supposedly “new” Senate can adopt new rules by a simple majority. This ignores the fact that the Senate, unlike the House, is a continuing body because, with staggered elections, no more than one-third of its members can be new — and not nearly that many ever are new — at any time.
The Senate can adopt new rules by a simple majority only by ignoring its long-standing rules. In the 2005 argument about filibustering judicial nominees, Sen. Joe Biden believed, or was told he believed, this “arrogance of power” ignored the fact that “the Senate is not meant to be a place of pure majoritarianism.”
Four House Democrats have asked a federal court to declare Senate filibusters unconstitutional. They say that the supermajorities needed to end a filibuster infringe the principle of majority rule and dilute the votes of members of the House. The court has many reasons, each sufficient, for refusing to so rule, including these two…