Saturday, May 16, 2009

Although It's Not Quite What She's Arguing....


Gail Collins lays out a decent case for filibuster reform. And maybe when the Dems have sixty votes they can amend the procedural rules and make a more democracy-friendly version of the filibuster.

I don't hate the filibuster, although I respect the arguments against it. As constituted, at least in theory it can force the Senate to be a bit more deliberative than the House, and can slow things down a bit. I could easily get behind reforms such as:
  • 60% of Senators Present: Allowing a cloture vote based upon people who have actually showed up to vote.

  • 40 Votes to Prevent Cloture: Rather than forcing the side seeking cloture to get at least 60 Senators to show up, require the filibustering side to produce the warm bodies.

Given that we've all-but-eliminated the need to actually filibuster, Jimmy Stewart-style... it seems quite reasonable to increase the burden on those who wish to impede a majority vote.

7 comments:

  1. I think the concept of the filibuster in the Senate is still valid. I wouldn't make it easier to shutdown the filibuster. I would, however, go back to the old rules whereby the Senator had to be present and speaking the whole time he wished to hold the floor . . . If you don't care about the issue enough to do the work and take the heat . . .

    CWD

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  2. Isn't that the Jimmy Stewart version of the filibuster - he has to keep talking to avoid yielding the floor in order to prevent the cloture vote? In that case he was up against 99 other senators who wanted cloture.

    I'm really talking about what comes after Jimmy stops talking - after the Senator yields the floor to another Senator who calls for a cloture vote.

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  3. Yeah, that's what you are talking about, what I'm talking about is the change in the rules that allows people to do "easy" filibusters where they don't have to hold the floor . . . plus I like the self-limitations of the "Jimmy Stewart" or "classic" filibuster.

    CWD

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  4. Hey Aaron and CWD--this is totally off topic but I have a legal question for you. My brother in law is an electrician and needs to take some sort of certification test. In order to take the test, he needs to have an LLC. Can he just use forms from Office Depot, or is there something more Michigan specific that he should use?
    I told him I'd ask my lawyer pals and, uh, that's you!!!! :)

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  5. if Office Depot has a set of Michigan-specific forms, he can use those easily enough. Or he can download them here. But the Office Depot package would likely include a sample operating agreement he can edit for use by his LLC.

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  6. Concur. The key is going to be making sure that whatever commercial package he buys/downloads has the MI specific forms.

    As long as he is sticking to the "normal" way of doing things, this is a good area to use commercial software rather than an attorney.

    It's sort of like the DIY will kits. For most people in most situations they are adequate. If any real tailoring is required, you are probably better off holding your nose and seeing an attorney. Better yet, you could see an attorney who wrote a book on the subject. : )

    CWD

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  7. Thanks, both of you! I will email the BIL and let him know.

    I have to find your book Aaron...that is so cool! I like to write fiction books, myself, and got in tons of trouble in law school. My facts and such would read like fictions and I had more than one professor say, "This is great...for a book. Write like a lawyer".

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