The Senate Filibuster Has Already Been Abolished

Consolidated News Photos/CNP via ZUMA Wire)

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At the risk of saying the obvious, isn’t it true that the legislative filibuster has already been abolished? Sure, there hasn’t been an official announcement or anything, but everyone agrees that the majority party can pass a piece of legislation with 51 votes anytime they feel like it.¹ It just takes a simple point of order and a ruling from the vice president.

The fact that no one has done this yet is immaterial. What matters is the consensus that it can be done at will. This means the filibuster no longer exists in any meaningful way. So how about if we forget about it and move on?

¹Assuming that the Senate and the White House are controlled by the same party. But that’s been the case for all but two years of the past decade and it’s the case now.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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