National Affairs: BATTLE OF THE SENATE

Rule XXII Preserves the Filibuster

As the 86th Congress convenes this week, Senate liberals of both parties see in the 1958 Democratic electoral sweep a mandate for civil rights legislation. But the path to civil rights—and, in fact to any legislation that a minority wants to fight to the death—is blocked by the prospect of filibuster. The liberals' first major effort, therefore, is aimed at changing U.S. Senate Rule XXII—under which it is virtually impossible to get cloture, i.e., to close off filibusters. What the Rule XXII fight is about:

Background. Until 1917, the...

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