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Op-Eds - Gregory Robinson, Binghamton University

Given the widespread interest in the filibuster and filibuster reform over recent years, Jon Krasno and I wrote a series of Op-Eds about the filibuster and (we think) a novel approach to reforming the cloture procedure. The core reform proposal would be to shift the burden onto the obstructionists, such that action on a bill would be prevented only if those opposing the measure could demonstrate (and continue to demonstrate) the support of 2/5 of the chamber for continued debate. Those supporting cloture wouldn't necessarily need 60 votes -- rather, those opposing cloture would need 40 votes. This small change would retain the Senate's supermajoritarian character while requiring those who would block legislation to pay a real price for their obstruction. Given this, we think that the proposal might actually make some headway, unlike many other proposals for reform. Our proposal has the added benefit of making it much more clear to observers what is actually happening when obstructionist Senators are using the supermajority requirement to thwart the will of the majority. Rather than say "Make them talk" we say "Make them vote".

"Tame the Filibuster," Christian Science Monitor, March 7, 2011. (with Jon Krasno).

"Fixing the Filibuster," Roll Call, January 29, 2010. (with Jon Krasno).

"Time to Rein In the Filibuster," The Hill, November 3, 2009. (with Jon Krasno).

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