Eric Posner on Filibuster Reform

Centrists Should Mourn the Demise of the Filibuster

Filibuster reform is a huge victory for progressives, according to David Weigel. Emily Bazelon agreesYet some conservatives not caught up in the immediate political bickering seem pretty happy about it too. Who loses? Most likely those in the center, meaning most of us.

There are two arguments for why the Democrats were right to change the Senate’s rules so that a minority can no longer block the appointments of judges (except on the Supreme Court) and executive branch officials. The first is that the existing scheme depended on cooperation with Republicans, and Republicans have stopped cooperating. If that is why, then I agree that the Democrats acted in their own best interests.

The second argument is that the existing scheme was not “democratic” because it allowed a minority of senators (many of them from sparsely populated states) to block the will of the majority. This argument is a bad one.