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View Diary: Filibuster challenged in federal court (80 comments)

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  •  Yes, the constitution does set... (0+ / 0-)

    2/3rds requirements in a very few specific instances.  The cloture rule (60 votes) and constitutional amendments like California's super majority vote requirement for bills involving tax increases however, do not fall under that Constitutional stricture.

    Congress has made laws in the past which have later been found unconstitutional.  I do recognize the reluctance of the courts to get into the rules of the Senate, but the plain fact is that with a cloture rule, those who lost elections have defacto given themselves far more power than the electorate gave them.

    The voters said they want tax rates on the wealthiest increased as evidence by the outcome of the election and by polls.  But if a bill is proposed to do that, a minority of Republicans could simply filibuster under the existing rules and block the vote.  

    They don't have a majority, but if they are given the right to demand 60 votes instead of 51, even though they are in the minority, they have, in effect, given themselves votes worth >1, while the majority's votes are <1  

    Prior to the recent election in CA, Republicans, who were hanging one or two seats shy of less than one-third of the Legislature, still managed to deny voters a referendum on whether or not they wanted to extend existing taxes to help reduce the deficit.  It took a ballot initiative to force that vote and the voters spoke and agreed to increase taxes.  (The GOP clearly was deadly afraid of any vote because if the voters approved the increase it would blow a hole in their long-standing assertion that taxpayers do not want any tax increases ever.)

    The courts have established the precedent of one person, one vote.  Why is this not a violation of that precedent?  Yes the Constitution says the legislature can set its own rules, but what if a court challenge led to a court decision that the rules they set are unconstitutional?

    Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

    by dweb8231 on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 08:00:30 AM PST

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    •  Here's the problem: (0+ / 0-)
      those who lost elections have defacto given themselves far more power than the electorate gave them.
      No, because those who won the elections proposed that rule, and it was passed unanimously (as it usually is) at the start of the session.

      "One person, one vote" is the wrong way to frame this discussion: it's a meaningless argument in the face of procedural rules of this kind.  Your better angle is to cite United States v. Ballin and argue that cloture effectively trumps the majority votes required of the Constitution.  It's still a longshot, but it's at least a defensible argument.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 10:33:14 AM PST

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