Former Senator Carl Levin’s Defense of the Filibuster

The Federalist Society

President Joe Biden’s announcement that he is open to reforming the Senate’s filibuster has energized calls from progressives to eliminate the Senate minority’s most powerful procedural tactic to block legislation or force compromise. But in his new memoir, Getting to the Heart of the Matter: My 36 Years in the Senate, former Michigan Senator Carl Levin makes the case for maintaining the filibuster as a central characteristic of the “world’s greatest deliberative body.” 

Levin explains that he entered the Senate in 1979 with conflicting views about the filibuster. One was the romantic vision from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington of a Senator using the tactic to champion a noble cause. The other was as a legislative tactic to block progress, notably southern senators’ use of the filibuster to stall civil rights legislation. 

But during his decades in the Senate, Levin came to appreciate that the filibuster, and the broader rights of the minority within the legislative chamber, are essential aspects of the Senate’s unique role in American government. 

Click here to read the full article in The Federalist Society.

Tags:

Image
Name
Designation
Short Description
Social Links
Dan Lips
VP for National Security and Oversight
Garret Johnson Lincoln Executive Director
Garrett Johnson
Executive Director
Zach Graves
Head of Policy
Sean Roberts
Senior Advisor
Alexiaa Jordan
Policy Analyst
J. Scott McKaig
CFO and General Counsel
Arthur Rizer
Senior Advisor
Grace Meyer
Head of Development
Marshall Kosloff
Director of Outreach and Media