A More Efficient U.S. Senate Would be Dangerous to What’s Left of the Republic


Dr. Charles Dunn is the author and editor of 21 books on American politics. He is also chairman emeritus of the U.S. J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and a founder of, and contributing scholar to, The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. Most recently, he served as dean of Regent’s University School of Government before retiring just last year. Below, he has a very thoughtful piece in Forbes Magazine about the U.S. Senate and the filibuster rule:

What would the Senate be like without the filibuster? It would be a more efficient body, but efficiency has never been a hallmark of democracy.

Reflecting on Senate Rule 22, the so-called cloture rule that allows for filibusters, former Senate parliamentarian Floyd M. Riddick dramatically stated its importance when he said, “Coming from the House to the Senate, it is like going from prison to freedom. . . . I’m talking about the freedom of time to develop what you are trying to get over. . . . I just can’t imagine debates in the Roman Senate ever being developed under the House procedures.”

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