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Filibuster: Obstruction and Lawmaking in the U.S. Senate / Edition 1
     

Filibuster: Obstruction and Lawmaking in the U.S. Senate / Edition 1

by Gregory J. Wawro, Eric Schickler
 

ISBN-10: 0691134065

ISBN-13: 9780691134062

Pub. Date: 08/20/2007

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Parliamentary obstruction, popularly known as the "filibuster," has been a defining feature of the U.S. Senate throughout its history. In this book, Gregory J. Wawro and Eric Schickler explain how the Senate managed to satisfy its lawmaking role during the nineteenth and early twentieth century, when it lacked seemingly essential formal rules for governing

Overview

Parliamentary obstruction, popularly known as the "filibuster," has been a defining feature of the U.S. Senate throughout its history. In this book, Gregory J. Wawro and Eric Schickler explain how the Senate managed to satisfy its lawmaking role during the nineteenth and early twentieth century, when it lacked seemingly essential formal rules for governing debate.

What prevented the Senate from self-destructing during this time? The authors argue that in a system where filibusters played out as wars of attrition, the threat of rule changes prevented the institution from devolving into parliamentary chaos. They show that institutional patterns of behavior induced by inherited rules did not render Senate rules immune from fundamental changes.

The authors' theoretical arguments are supported through a combination of extensive quantitative and case-study analysis, which spans a broad swath of history. They consider how changes in the larger institutional and political context—such as the expansion of the country and the move to direct election of senators—led to changes in the Senate regarding debate rules. They further investigate the impact these changes had on the functioning of the Senate. The book concludes with a discussion relating battles over obstruction in the Senate's past to recent conflicts over judicial nominations.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691134062
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/20/2007
Series:
Princeton Studies in American Politics: Historical, International, and Comparative Perspectives Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
328
Sales rank:
1,116,665
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents


List of Tables     vii
List of Figures     ix
Preface     xi
Introduction     1
The Centrality of Obstruction to Senate Lawmaking     6
Obstruction Fundamentals     13
Layout of the Book     17
Obstruction in Theoretical Context     25
Introduction     25
Costs and Obstruction     30
Endogenous Rules     32
Filibusters as Wars of Attrition     34
Relational Legislating and Senate Obstruction     38
Predictions about Lawmaking     54
Discussion     57
The Mutability of Senate Rules     61
Rulings from the Chair and Procedural Innovation in the House     62
Rulings from the Chair and Procedural Innovation in the Senate     65
The Bank Bill of 1841     72
The Federal Elections Bill of 1891 Revisited     76
Discussion     87
Where's the Pivot?     89
Introduction     89
Competing Theories about Coalition Sizes     90
Coalition Sizes on the Passage of Significant Legislation     96
Coalition Sizes and Presidential Regime Shifts     99
Coalition Sizes on Appropriations Bills     104
Coalition Sizes and Silent Majorities     106
Conclusion     107
Dilatory Motions and the Success of Obstruction     109
Introduction     109
Uncovering Obstruction     111
Modeling the Success or Failure of Obstruction     118
Discussion     125
Obstruction and the Tariff     127
Introduction     127
Antebellum Tariff Making     131
The Tariff from 1865 to 1889     140
The Tariff from 1890 to 1930     144
Conclusion     155
Slavery and Obstruction in the Antebellum Senate     159
Introduction     159
Predictions for Empirical Testing     160
Empirical Analysis of the Use of Dilatory Tactics     164
Support for Obstructive Efforts     171
Conclusion     175
Obstruction and Institutional Change     181
Introduction     181
Changes in the Political and Institutional Environment     182
Direct Election     195
Conclusion     208
Cloture Reform Reconsidered     211
Introduction     211
A Simple Model of Cloture     214
Alternative Explanations for Increases in Coalition Sizes     223
Conclusion     233
The Impact of Cloture on the Appropriations Process     237
Introduction     237
Institutional Change Relevant to the Appropriations Process     240
Cloture and Appropriations Deadlines     249
Conclusion     256
Conclusion     259
The Battle for Majority Cloture in Today's Senate     264
Confrontation, Compromise, and the Gang of Fourteen     269
Desirability of Reform     276
Prospects for Change     281
Bibliography     285
Index     303

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