I recently called filibusters "an attack on our Constitution" because senators can grind the legislative process to a halt by merely threatening to speak. Patrick Sharma imagines how the Senate could reform the laws to stop it:
One option would be to prevent the "most boring relay race" scenario by requiring an increasing number of minority senators to be present in the chamber as a filibuster progresses. Another would be to reverse the cloture rule and put the burden on the minority to deliver 41 votes in order to continue debate.
But many senators are reluctant to pursue filibuster reform. Some are traditionalists and believe the rules should be left untouched. Others want to have the silent filibuster at their disposal when they eventually end up in the minority. And some worry that any change to the rules will be framed in the media as a "power grab” or “cheating."
However, history shows that when minority obstruction reaches peak levels, the Senate changes its rules in response. The question isn’t whether this is going to happen again — it’s when.