(Note: This is an official Washington Examiner editorial on filibusters, to which I contibuted a bit more than half of the text. It expresses the institutional view of the newspaper. — Quin)

(July 24) Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are both now threatening a potentially perilous power grab if their party sweeps the elections this fall. Should they follow through, their threats to eliminate the Senate filibuster could upend the delicate balances that keep our constitutional system stable.

The filibuster, of course, is the longstanding Senate rule that allows 41 of the 100 senators to extend debate indefinitely on a bill or resolution, effectively blocking the proposal from passing. A staple of Senate procedure for two centuries, the filibuster ensures the privileges of a sizable minority against precipitous action by a bare majority. Used correctly, it promotes bipartisan consensus-building so matters of great weight will not be decided in fits of temporary partisan passion.

On Tuesday, Schumer reiterated his stance that “nothing is off the table” procedurally if Democrats regain a Senate majority. And Biden, for decades a defender of Senate traditions and a consistent proponent of the filibuster throughout the Democratic primary season, suddenly said last week that he would “take a look at” eliminating the filibuster if he is president and Republicans become “obstreperous” in their opposition to his agenda.

Of course, every president in history has thought that opposition to his agenda is a sign of obstreperousness. But until now, presidents have been forced to accept the existing rules as a crucial bulwark against radicalism and even tyranny. What gives Biden and his Democratic allies the moral authority to decide that their agenda is so much more important than any other presidential agenda in history?…

(For the whole editorial, please follow this link.)


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