National Affairs: Maintaining Reason

In all the long, talkative history of the U.S. Senate, only 22 attempts have been made to end filibusters by cloture, only four times (and not since 1927, on a filibuster against creation of a bureau of customs and bureau of prohibition) have the attempts been successful. But last week, for the first time, the Senate got what appeared to be a generally reasonable and workable anti-filibuster rule.

The Senate's new Rule XXII was the personal product of Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson. As such, it represented a middle way between the Senate's Southerners, who hold with the idea of limitless debate,...

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