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The Boston Globe


Richard A. arenberg

An effective Senate needs filibusters

As the inept vice president on HBO’s “Veep,” Julia Lewis-Dreyfus is fighting for a never quite defined filibuster reform bill. It’s the perfect foil for comedy, frustratingly unattainable, but directed at a target apparently richly deserving of ridicule.

In the real world, Majority Leader Harry Reid, frustrated by the latest Republican filibuster, recently apologized for failing to support filibuster reform. In addition, Common Cause has filed a lawsuit claiming that Rule XXII, which requires 60 votes to cut off a filibuster, is unconstitutional. The suit claims, “The principle of majority rule is so basic to the concept of a democratically elected legislative body that it did not need to be expressly stated in the Constitution.”

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