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View Diary: Senate rules reform and the "constitutional option" (60 comments)

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  •  The constitutional option has only been used (0+ / 0-)

    as a way to change Senate rules at teh beginning of a new congress. Because the whole debate was about senator Walsh in the 65th congress and Senator Anderson along with Hoobert Humphie in the 83 or 84th congress arguing about changing the filibuster rules and whether the congress was continuous or not.

    I think the main reason behind the ruling of the gang of 14 under the Bush administration, was due to the fact neither party wanted to really deal with the Nuclear option (constitutional option). If they did and somehow it got to the supreme court, they fear the filibuster would be ruled unconstitutional. None of them want to use the constitutional option (nuclear option) for any other reason then changing the rules at the beginning of a new congress, it would also take a lot of power and money making opportunities from well placed senators. And nearly all of them are well placed and have been for years. The filibuster is clearly UNCONSTITUTIONAL anyway. ARTICLE 1 SECTION 5.

    •  I'm certainly no expert, (0+ / 0-)

      but by definition, the constitutional option has nothing to do with rule changes at the beginning of a new congress.  If used, it would be a point of order arguing exactly what you say, that the rules the Senate has been operating under are unconstitutional.

      I'm not really clear on the point you are trying to make, but I think you may be suggesting that the spectre of the nuclear option is only used at the beginning of congress to get parliamentary procedure changes.  But that's not what happened with the gang of 14.  All that took place in the spring of 2005.  And there was never a ruling related to the gang of 14.  It was an agreement designed to avoid the point of order and thus never get to a ruling.

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