Steven Duffield '99 Op-Ed on Reid's Filibuster Plan

Excerpted from The Washington Examiner:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has announced he will begin the new Congress today by violating Senate rules and forcing through a set of procedural changes that will undermine Senate conservatives' ability to influence legislation. But the "Reid Plan" will have its most dramatic impact on presidential nominations, especially for the Supreme Court.

The Senate is a unique legislative body that protects the rights of individual senators both to debate and to amend. These rights are valued so highly that it takes a supermajority -- today, 60 votes -- to deny fellow senators those rights. This higher vote threshold and the prospect of extended debate encourage deliberation, compromise and moderation.

Many Senate liberals want to gut this long-standing protection for minorities. Buried in the Reid Plan is a new rule, the "standing filibuster requirement," that will allow a partisan majority to shut off deliberation and pass legislation by a bare majority. Disguised as a debate-promoting measure, this new plan is actually just a mechanism to eliminate the higher vote threshold that has long been required to proceed to final passage of bills and nominations.

This spells the effective end to minority rights in the Senate. Today's 60-vote bar to end debate will be gone, and the Senate will be transformed into President Obama's rubber stamp.

Read the rest of the article here.