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Argument: The filibuster is outdated and uncivilized in a modern democracy

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Supporting quotations

Elliot Richardson. "The Case Against the Senate Filibuster". 2005: "Just as we forswear using chemical weapons in war, senators should forswear using filibusters in legislative combat. Such scorched-earth tactics may win a battle but leave the democratic process in ruins."


"Time to Retire the Filibuster." The New York Times. 1995: "The U.S. Senate likes to call itself the world's greatest deliberative body. The greatest obstructive body is more like it. In the last season of Congress, the Republican minority invoked an endless string of filibusters to frustrate the will of the majority. This relentless abuse of a time-honored Senate tradition so disgusted Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa, that he is now willing to forgo easy retribution and drastically limit the filibuster. Hooray for him. For years Senate filibusters--when they weren't conjuring up romantic images of Jimmy Stewart as Mr. Smith, passing out from exhaustion on the Senate floor--consisted mainly of negative feats of endurance. Senator Sam Ervin once spoke for 22 hours straight. Outrage over these tactics and their ability to bring Senate business to a halt led to the current so-called two-track system, whereby a senator can hold up one piece of legislation while other business goes on as usual."

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