Equality in Filibusters

Topics: United States Senate, United States, Supermajority Pages: 3 (980 words) Published: April 27, 2013
Filibusters are a good way to show that that the United States adequately balances majority rule with minority rights. If the United Sates did not adequately balance minority rights and majority rule then it would run as smoothly as it has for this many years.

What is a filibuster?
“A filibuster is a tactic by which opponents of a bill use their right to unlimited debate as a way to prevent the senate from ever voting on the bill” (Edwards 366) Once a senator has the floor he or she can hold it for as long as they want. They can talk a bill to death. A filibuster can be used by any senator although it is most commonly used by a senator in the minority party. “Senate leaders by the 1840s were already trying to adopt a cloture rule. But most such efforts to bar the filibuster were filibustered” ("The History of the Filibuster").

How does a filibuster work?
When a senator disagrees with a bill and knows that it will most likely pass if it is voted on he/she stands up and starts to speak. They can talk for as long as they want and or can. The longest consecutive filibuster was conducted by Strom Thurmond of South Carolina for a total of 24 hours and 18 minutes (Edwards 366). A good example of a filibuster is in the movie “Mr. smith goes to Washington”. Mr. Smith is a man who becomes a senator and finds out the people who helped him get this new title are using him he does a filibuster so their bill will not pass. Mr. Smith continues to talk for as long as he can until he loses his voice. While he is speaking he discusses several different things. Such as how his bill is better, how he did none of the things he is blamed for, and he reads several things. Senators do not have to stay on topic while they are conducting a filibuster.

When is it used?
A filibuster is used when a senator believes that his or her stance on a bill is better than that of the majority of the other senators. Senators usually do a filibuster when they know that if that bill goes to...
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