Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) Congressiona Record
December 11, 2013
Congressional Record

Madam President, I rise to address the nomination of Cornelia Pillard for the DC Circuit. It appears to me the environment in which we are discussing these nominations is a good example of the new rules of the Senate. We are already getting a taste of the new world order around here. It did not take long. It has only been a few weeks but we are already experiencing life in the new Senate. Those in the majority who wanted to change the rules are now certainly getting their wish. More

Ingber ’15: The importance of the filibuster
December 3, 2013
Brown Daily Herald

What Republicans are doing is wrong. Refusing to fill vacancies on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, regardless of President Obama’s choice of nominee, is an unacceptable response to the reality of a Democrat occupying the White House. It is inexcusable to hold arguably the second most important court in the country hostage. I have no problem with ideological opposition to individual nominees, but I find it problematic to predetermine that the court’s vacancies should not be filled. More

Despite abuse, filibuster served important purpose
November 30, 2013
Delaware Online

What makes American democracy different, and I believe better, than it is in other countries is the result of our founders’ apprehensiveness about an unrestrained majority. More

Examining the Nuclear Fallout from the Senate's Filibuster Vote
November 26, 2013
Constitution Center Blog

Democrats are celebrating the change in the interpretation of the Senate’s filibuster rules as a “victory for democracy.” Republicans are “singing the blues.” But, filibuster reform is not a partisan issue; at least it wasn’t until now. More

The End of the Filibuster: Another American Institution Abandoned
November 26, 2013
Town Hall

It was a sad day -- Thursday, November 21, 2013 -- when another tradition died in the U.S. Senate, which was once known as the world's greatest deliberative body. Thursday it didn't so much deliberate as obliterate. The result was the end of an American institution, the filibuster. More

Reid Goes Nuclear
November 22, 2013
Canada Free Press

On Thursday, 225 years of Senate tradition was cast aside by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) when he invoked the so-called “nuclear option” and eliminated filibusters against most presidential nominations. “The American people believe Congress is broken. The American people believe the Senate is broken. And I believe they are right,” Reid said Thursday on the Senate floor. “The need for change is so very, very obvious.” What’s just as obvious is the primary motive behind this effort: to tilt an evenly-divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decidedly to the left. More

These 'Reforms' are a Huge Mistake
November 22, 2013
New York Times

The Senate Republicans, by blatantly and transparently obstructing President Obama’s judicial nominations, have goaded the Democrats into an historic mistake. To reach understandable ends, they have adopted tragically flawed means. By use of the so-called “nuclear option,” Senate Democrats have now established the principle that a simple majority in the Senate can change any rule at any time. More

Congressional Record - Senate
November 21, 2013
Senator Pat Roberts, Kansas: Our former Parliamentarian Bob Dove and Richard Arenberg, a professor and onetime aide to former majority leader George Mitchell, wrote a book on this subject called "Defending the Filibuster," and this is what they said:
If a 51-vote majority is empowered to rewrite the Senate's rules, the day will come, as it did in the House of Representatives, when a majority will construct rules that give it near absolute control over amendments and debate. And there is no going back from that. No majority in the House of Representatives has or ever will voluntarily relinquish that power in order to give the minority a greater voice in crafting legislation. More

How the Button Was Pressed on Nuclear Option
November 21, 2013
WSJ

Thursday’s move by Senate Democrats to ease the confirmation for most presidential nominees by requiring only a simple majority vote to end debate marks a rare change for a chamber known for its continuity and its slow, deliberative process. More

Senate 'Nuclear Option' No Option
November 11, 2013
Politico

Yogi Berra once warned, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.” That advice might well be given to Senate Democrats and Republicans as they careen toward a third conflict over reforming the filibuster in less than a year. More

Professor Podcasts: Rich Arenberg
October 21, 2013
Brown Political Review

The shutdown may be over, but polarized politics live on! BPR’s Sarah Sachs sat down with Professor Rich Arenberg during the recent government shutdown and talked about the differences between this shutdown and the last, the Republican party’s unsuccessful attempts to defund the Affordable Care Act, and Speaker of the House John Boehner’s leadership strategy. More

How will Mayor Booker fit in as Sen. Booker?
October 19, 2013
Philly.com

After winning a New Jersey Senate seat Wednesday, the star-powered Newark mayor, who is so often the center of attention, will soon enter a traditionalist body where newcomers are expected to quietly earn their place and wait their turn. More

There's nothing special about the filibuster
August 23, 2013
Politico

Though the long-term outcome of last month’s Senate debate over the filibuster rule is uncertain, it’s already clear that gridlock won’t be disappearing anytime soon. The cause is a filibuster rule that gives 41 of 100 senators veto power over the entire legislative process. More

Who Cares What the Framers Thought about the Filibuster?
August 21, 2013
The American Prospect

Even if the founding fathers thought the filibuster was great, we have no reason to defer to their wisdom any more than we're obligated to protect slavery or deny women the vote. More

Save the filibuster!
August 20, 2013
Politico

They are at it again. Republicans in the Senate are taking the unsupportable position that three existing D.C. Federal Circuit Court vacancies should not be filled. They claim that President Obama wants to “pack” the court, FDR style. But their real concern is about the ideological direction of the court, not its size. More

Neither Filibustering Nor the U.S. Senate Protects Minority Interests
August 20, 2013
Slate

Richard Arenberg has an op-ed in Politico defending the 60-vote threshold for passing a measure in the Senate that, based on his credentials, seems like it'd be interesting. He has decades of service in Congress. He's teaching at Brown. But no. The whole thing hinges on the idea that filibustering defends minority interests and prevents the "tyranny of the majority." But this is simply wrong. More

In defense of the filibuster
July 29, 2013
Constitution Daily

The twin pillars of the Senate’s historic role are the rights of each senator to speak and offer amendments. These characteristics underpin the protection of Senate minorities. The filibuster and related rules play a fundamental part in that protection. This has made the Senate a unique body for more than 200 years. More

Save the Filibuster
July 18, 2013
Townhall

The majority leader of the U.S. Senate was being himself again, unfortunately. That is, a bully. If the Republican minority in the Senate wouldn't go along with a slate of nominees to high federal office that the president wanted confirmed, well, Czar Harry would just do away with the whole institution of the filibuster in this instance. And maybe any others in the future. More

The day after the Senate didn’t go nuclear
July 17, 2013
The Washington Post

Yes, it’s good news that Richard Cordray’s long stint in limbo at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is over. The idea that this supremely qualified man went unconfirmed for two years is a disgrace. But the notion that Harry Reid had to push the Senate to the brink to get this and a few other forgettable appointments okayed — quick, can you even name them the day after? — says more about GOP-fueled dysfunction than anything else. More

Robert Dove: Beware the Filibuster ‘Nuclear Option’
July 16, 2013
Lux Libertas

The rules of the U.S. Senate have proven remarkably adaptable and resilient across the past two centuries as the world changed around them. These rules have done exactly what their drafters intended: protect the rights of the minority and provide a balance of power within government. More

The Morning Plum: Time to go nuclear
July 15, 2013
The Washington Post

With the confrontation over the filibuster set to hit nuclear meltdown temperature this week, there’s a great deal of hand-wringing out there over the current breakdown in Senate comity. The Post talks to a lot of current and former Senators who are deeply upset about how ideological and polarized the Senate has become. There’s little talk about whether one side is more to blame than the other for this state of affairs, as if this occurrence were natural and inevitable. More

Sen. Reid Sticks With Filibuster Threat
July 15, 2013
WSJ Video

WATCH

The Senate majority leader wants votes on seven nominees, or he and fellow Democrats intend to strip the power of Republicans to filibuster certain confirmations. Jerry Seib and Richard Arenberg, Brown University lecturer, join The News Hub.

Save the filibuster, Harry Reid
July 11, 2013
The Washington Post

The Senate is headed for a showdown over the filibuster. Democrats and Republicans are locked in a struggle that brings to mind the Cold War deterrence strategy of mutually assured destruction. More

Prof. Richard Arenberg's book, Defending the Filibuster, wins top honors
July 1, 2013
The Taubman Center at Brown University

Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate by Richard A. Arenberg and Robert B. Dove has been awarded the gold medal as the best political science book of the year (2012) by Foreword Reviews magazine. The award was announced at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago. More

Richard Arenberg comments on Wednesday’s Senate floor theatrics
May 23, 2013
The Monkey Cage

Comments from Rich Arenberg interpreting yesterday’s Senate floor dust-up between Reid and McConnell over changing Senate rules: More

‘Nuclear’ Summer for the Senate?
May 21, 2013
Meet the 112th

With more chatter that Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., may move forward with changing the Senate’s rules regarding nominations, there’s quite a conversation among Senate process experts about the “nuclear option.” More

How bad would the nuclear option fallout be?
May 20, 2013
The Monkey Cage

I appreciate Jon Bernstein’s nuanced and thoughtful response on the credibility of minority party threats to go nuclear were the majority to employ the nuclear option. He asks the critical question: “After majority-imposed reform is imposed, does it makes sense to carry out that threat?” More

Senator Rand Paul"s Filibuster: Some History and Context
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
Richard A. Arenberg was an aide to three United States Senators: Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, George Mitchell of Maine, and Carl Levin of Michigan (all Democrats). He teaches at Brown University and is the author with Parliamentarian Emeritus of the United States Senate Robert B. Dove of Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate. We asked Arenberg about Senator Rand Paul's current effort to filibuster President Obama's nomination of John Brennan to head the Central Intelligence Agency. More

Professor Richard Arenberg a Finalist for Foreword Reviews Book of the Year
May 14, 2013
Taubman Center News

Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate written by Richard Arenberg, adjunct lecturer in public policy, and U.S. Parliamentarian Emeritus Robert Dole has been named a finalist for Foreword Reviews Magazine Book of the Year in Political Science. More

Guns and the Filibuster
May 13, 2013
The Hill

Vice President Biden intoned, “On this vote, the yeas are 54, the nays are 46. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes, the amendment is not agreed to.” Moments later, from the gallery, Patricia Maisch, survivor of the horrific Tucson shooting, shouted at the senators below, “Shame on you!” More

Richard Arenberg interview on The Inner Loop
May 9, 2013
WASC Radio

Richard Arenberg interview on The Inner Loop with Howard Marlowe
Season 4: Episode 2 - Defense, Defense Listen

Filibuster Reform 2013: What Happened
March 21, 2013
The Bipartisan Policy Committee

Senator Tom Udall, Richard Arenberg (Brown University), Sarah Binder (George Washington University), Alan Frumin (Former Senate Parliamentarian), John Fortier (Moderator), Donald Wolfensberger (Senior Scholar BPC)
Introduction
Senator Udall's address
Panel discussion
Q & A

Richard Arenberg Defends the Filibuster
March 11, 2013
The Monkey Cage

Discussing the recent Rand Paul filibuster, Sarah Binder approvingly quotes Ezra Klein who argues, “When Senate institutionalists wax rhapsodic about the upper chamber, they talk about the filibuster’s cherished role in slowing down the majority and permitting passionate minorities to be heard. That is a valuable endeavor!” More

More Support for the Filibuster
March 8, 2013
The Daily Banter

Richard A. Arenberg has written a much more eloquent defense of the filibuster than mine. He is a former Senate staffer for Senators Paul Tsongas, Carl Levin and George Mitchel More

Senator Rand Paul's Filibuster: Some History and Context
March 7, 2013
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

Richard A. Arenberg was an aide to three United States Senators: Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, George Mitchell of Maine, and Carl Levin of Michigan (all Democrats). He teaches at Brown University and is the author with Parliamentarian Emeritus of the United States Senate Robert B. Dove of Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate. We asked Arenberg about Senator Rand Paul's current effort to filibuster President Obama's nomination of John Brennan to head the Central Intelligence Agency. More

The Nuclear Option, the Law of the Senate and the Conscientious Senator
March 2, 2013
Point of Order

The “nuclear option” (also sometimes called the “constitutional option”) may be defined as the use of a parliamentary ruling to declare the Senate rules unconstitutional insofar as they require a supermajority to end debate on a proposed change to the rules. If such a ruling were upheld by a simple majority, it would no longer be possible for a minority of senators to block rules changes (depending on the scope of the ruling, either at the beginning of a Congress or at any time). This would effectively end the (allegedly) unconstitutional entrenchment of the Senate rules claimed by the signatories to the December 12 legal scholar letter. More

Says of a failed cloture vote on nominating Chuck Hagel for defense secretary: "This is not a filibuster."
February 18, 2013
Politifact

Some Republicans in the U.S. Senate aren’t very happy that their old colleague, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, has now been nominated to be President Barack Obama’s defense secretary. More

Senate Puzzler for your Sunday morning
February 17, 2013
The Monkey Cage

Three cheers to Wonkblog for starting our Sunday morning with a little Senate parliamentary puzzle. Dylan Matthews gets us going by noting Majority Leader Harry Reid’s procedural move this past Thursday. After seeing that the cloture vote would fail to cut off debate on the motion to confirm Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department, Reid switched his vote to oppose cloture. More

The move to reform the filibuster
January 28, 2013
The New Yorker

A key promise of President Barack Obama’s first term was to pass the DREAM Act, which would grant the foreign-born children of undocumented immigrants a path to permanent-resident status if they had attended college or served in the U.S. military. More

The “nuclear option” for filibuster reform is no option at all
January 8, 2013
Salon

In recent years, Congress has achieved several unprecedented failures. Since 2007, an estimated 391 filibusters forced cloture votes. Compare that to only 49 cloture votes between 1919 and 1970. In the 112th Congress alone, members of Congress have accomplished the passage of a mere 219 bills, many of which were housekeeping measures such as naming post office buildings or extending existing laws. This output has set the record as the least productive Congress in record-keeping history, including the 80th congress in 1947, infamously known as the “Do Nothing Congress.” More

Filibustering the filibuster
January 2, 2013
Politico

The distinguishing feature of the Senate for more than 200 years has been the protection of minority rights balanced with majority rule. The foundation of that protection has been unlimited debate and unfettered amendment. Unlike the House of Representatives where the majority works its will, limits debate and often permits no amendments, in the Senate the minority can speak and offer its amendments. More

Guest post: How should Congress approach filibuster reform?
January 2, 2013
Indiana University Press Blog

The understandable focus on the “fiscal cliff” negotiations on Capitol Hill has obscured a more far-reaching historical crisis in the Senate. Tomorrow the new Congress will come to grips with the filibuster reform debate which has been raging over the past several weeks slightly off the public’s radar. More

Professor Bruhl and Senate Continuity
December 28, 2012
Point of Order

As explained by Richard Arenberg and Robert Dove in Defending the Filibuster 124-25 (2012), many of the senators who shared Walsh’s goal of reforming Senate rules nevertheless made clear “they did not support Senator Walsh’s contention that the rules could be changed by a simple majority at the start of a Congress.” More

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Congressional Record

December 20, 2012

I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone that the Senate, once famed as the world’s greatest deliberative body, has become paralyzed. At the heart of that paralysis is a change in the use of the filibuster. More

WZON: The Pulse Morning Show
December 18, 2012

The filibuster is getting a bad rap. At least that's the opinion of the authors of "Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate". the book's co-authors have backgrounds in very different political ideologies, but they agree on one thing: the filibuster serves a valid purpose, and with some tweaking, it should remain an integral part of our legislative process. We spoke with Richard Arenberg, who brings 34 years of experience on Capitol Hill to his side of the discussion. More

The Nuclear Option
December 17, 2012
The Morning Side Post

Momentum for Senate filibuster reform is stronger than ever. But is the proposed cure worse than the disease? More

Is majority rules change in the Senate really a 'slippery slope'?
December 12, 2012
Daily Kos

It should come as no surprise to you that I've got some disagreements with the way Richard Arenberg, co-author of Defending the Filibuster, characterizes some of the history and issues surrounding the current filibuster reform debate. He's been very prolific of late, and I'd like to address some of the objections he raises. More

Finesse Needed for Filibuster Reform: The Real Danger is Not What's Been Proposed, but How Reformers Seek to Make Those Changes
December 10, 2012
Portland Press Herald

This week, in his strongest statement yet, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared, "We're going to change the rules." Maine's senators are poised to play a pivotal role. Reid is referring to reforms to the filibuster rules that have served as the guarantor of the Senate's unique role in balancing minority rights with majority rule. Speech is unlimited and amendments are unfettered. By contrast, in the House debate is strictly limited and often no amendments are permitted. More

Six Reasons Up with Chris Hayes is a Must-Watch for Progressives and All Wonks
December 7, 2012
Daily Kos

Up With Chris Hayes is the Anti-Meet the Press. Chris Hayes is what David Gregory would be in a media world that provided rational, intelligent discussion instead of warmed over CW, right wing or phony centrist propaganda and a platform for bizarre characters like Newt Gingrich and Liz Cheney. Below are just some of the reasons why it's a can't miss show for us here at Daily Kos. More

Today in Filibuster Debate
December 3, 2012

One more from the NYT "Room for Debate" feature. Richard Arenberg doesn't mind the relatively mild reforms that Democratic Senators are talking about, but strongly objects to the process: "The crux of the problem is that once the precedent is established that a simple majority can change the rules, it can be done at any time. It is inevitable that within a short period of time, the majority will do what majorities do: take control."More

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Congressional Record

December 3, 2012

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to put into the record an article by Richard Arenberg, who worked on the Senate and House staffs for 30 or 40 years. We find that people who have worked in the Senate and Leave it, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, seem to feel the same way. More

Do Filibusters Stall the Senate or Give It Purpose?
December 3, 2012
The New York Times

Many senators are troubled by Republicans’ increasing use of filibusters to stall legislation and prevent debate. But even some of them are wary of the “nuclear option” to change the rules: It would allow the vice president and a simple majority to revise the rules, a precedent that today’s majority party might regret someday when it became the minority again. More

In Defense of the Filibuster
December, 2012
Brown Alumni Magazine

If you’re tired of the political gridlock in Washington, D.C., you might think getting rid of the filibuster would be a good idea. Brown political scientist Richard Arenberg and Georgetown’s Robert Dove say: Think again. Although the filibuster is now used to block legislation in the U.S. Senate more often than ever before, Arenberg and Dove argue in their new book, Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate, that the tactic is actually a sign of a healthy democracy. Here, Arenberg explains why. More

Motions to Proceed: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
November 29, 2012
The Monkey Cage

I spent 34 years working on Capitol Hill, including for Majority Leader Mitchell. It has always been my belief that the filibuster on the motion to proceed adds little value. The filibuster is important in the Senate because it defends minority rights and this is tied to the substance of debate and amendment. More

GOP to Reid on filibuster rules: Do you really want to have this fight right now?
November 26, 2012
Hotair

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bid to alter Senate rules to limit the tools at the minority party’s disposal is perhaps one of his most hypocritical, ill-fated attempts at ‘leadership’ yet, and that’s saying something. Way back when, during the days of the Democratic minority of yesteryear, he was vehemently opposed to measures that would curtail the Senate’s filibuster options — but now that those dastardly Republicans have ostensibly crossed some imaginary line of what he deems to be too much filibustering, he’s all too eager to cut down on the minority party’s powers. More

The 'Nuclear Option,' Then and Now
November 26, 2012
Powerline

I don’t recall any of us commenting on the plan of Senate Democrats to reform, and perhaps end, the filibuster. But Harry Reid and his crew seem prepared to push for major changes in the filibuster come January. If they do, it will trigger quite a battle and probably extinguish whatever chances exist for cooperation between congressional Democrats and Republicans. More

Senate Dems Hypocritically Embrace Nuclear Option
November 27, 2012
Investors Business Daily

Changing the filibuster rule come January has suddenly become a top priority for Senate Democrats who want to help their re-elected president complete his fundamental transformation of America. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday blasted Democratic-led efforts to reform the filibuster, something the Democrats once vehemently opposed but which Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to bring up in the next Congress, fearing the Republicans will dig in to block President Obama's agenda. More

Are the Effects of Senate Rules Changes Predictable?
November 21, 2012
The Monkey Cage

Sarah Binder, Greg Koger and Steven Smith as usual contribute valuable and insightful views about the current filibuster reform debate. I share the view put forward by Greg and Sarah that the “Mr. Smith Talking Filibuster” proposals put forward by Senators Merkeley, Udall, and Senator-Elect Warren are not likely to produce the results they desire. In fact, majority leaders can and have forced filibusterers to speak under existing rules. More

Filibuster reform: Avoid the ‘nuclear option’
November 14, 2012
Washington Post

Majority Leader Harry Reid, frustrated by abuse of the filibuster, has vowed to change the Senate’s rule on the first day of the new Congress.
If he chooses to invoke the “constitutional option” — the assertion that the Senate can, on the first day of a session, change its rules by a majority vote — he will be heading down a slippery slope that the current president of the Senate, Vice President Biden, once excoriated as an abuse of power by a majority party. More

An Electoral Tie Could Bind the Senate
October 29, 2012
Roll Call

One of Washington’s favorite parlor games is conjecturing about the remote possibility of an Electoral College tie. Prognosticators have come up with various maps and scenarios under which the election would result in a 269-269 deadlock, which would vest the responsibility of choosing the country’s leaders squarely in what polls say is one of the least popular institutions in the country — Congress. More

Filibuster or bust? Reformers see a (small) window
October 23, 2012
Washington Post Blog

Whoever wins the White House, there will be appointments, judicial nominations and legislation a-plenty heading to Congress — and one thing to watch for is early action in the Senate on filibuster reform. Proponents of overhauling the curious Senate custom see a window of opportunity, but it’s a narrow one with plenty of chances to cloud up. More

Filibuster Reform: Not All That It’s Cracked Up To Be
October 17, 2012
Congressional Institute

Not long ago, Senator Tom Harkin wrote a letter to the editor of the Washington Post, disputing an opinion piece that claimed no one has a plan to improve the efficiency of the Senate. The Senator himself proposed a plan: Abolish the filibuster. Eliminating this parliamentary maneuver, the Senator writes, will make the body more efficient and “also lead to more compromise in the Senate.” More

Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate
October 17, 2012
Foreward Reviews

In Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate, longtime Senate experts Richard Arenberg and Robert Dove argue that while the filibuster and other Senate rules have undoubtedly been severely abused in recent years, the fault lies with the abusers and not the filibuster itself. Rather, they convincingly argue that the ability to extend debate is a valuable check on the majority party, one that has helped preserve the Senate as a more moderate, careful body than the House of Representatives. More

The Soul of the Senate
October 5, 2012
Huffpost Live

Five Stars for Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate
September 24, 2012
Joanna Louise Johnson

I had concerns about the filibuster prior to reading Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate, by Richard Arenberg and Robert Dove, but they were all neatly laid to rest. To put it simply, democracy requires respect for the minority, and the filibuster is one of a precious few mechanisms making that possible. Can use of the filibuster be annoying? If it isn’t your side using it, then yes, of course. It’s like people making out on the subway: disgusting when it’s them, but perfect and beautiful when it’s you. Nobody said democracy would be easy. Clearly written and amply supported, DEFENDING THE FILIBUSTER is a must-read for all Americans, especially during these highly contentious times. More

Richard Arenberg: Defending the filibuster
August 23, 2012
Brown University
Courtney Coelho

In Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate, political scientists and former Senate staffers Richard Arenberg and Robert Dove argue that the solution to recent criticism of the filibuster is not to do away with it. Arenberg speaks with Courtney Coelho about the history of Senate debate, how its use has been distorted in recent years and why reforms, not abolishment, are key to preserving Senate minority rights. More

Reforming the Senate without a vote? My (double) take
August 20, 2012
The Monkey Cage
Sarah Binder

I am looking forward to reading Richard Arenberg and Robert Dove’s new book, Defending the Filibuster, which comes out tomorrow. Niels Lesniewski’s preview in Roll Call provides a glimpse of some of the authors’ arguments. First, they oppose what many call “reform-by-ruling,” or altering Senate rules by majority vote at the start of a Congress. (Some also refer to this approach to reform as the “Constitutional option.”) Second, Lesniewski notes that the authors support a range of changes to the Senate’s Rule 22, so long as regular order is followed in changing the rules. More

How to reform the filibuster without taking a vote
August 20, 2012
Washington Post
As its title suggests, “Defending the Filibuster” maintains that the much-maligned Senate procedure is crucial to protecting the minority and insuring “stability and deliberation in government,” according to the book description. But Richard Arenberg and Robert Dove also offer some suggestions for reform around the edges.More

Senate Experts Argue to Save the Filibuster, Sort Of
August 18, 2012
Roll Call
Niels Lesniewski

Advocates and opponents of changing the Senate rules will find something to like in a new book hitting shelves next week that documents the history of filibusters. In "Defending the Filibuster," Richard Arenberg and Robert Dove outline their case for substantive reform without undermining the chamber.

The bipartisan duo push the case against an effort led by relative Senate newcomers Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to change the chamber's rules by a simple majority vote at the beginning of a new Congress. More

Two Senate veterans stand up for a little-understood and much-maligned legislative tactic.
August 16, 2012
Kirkus Reviews
For more than a century, filibusters have been attacked as undemocratic, unconstitutional, obstructionist barriers to the work of the Senate, yet they have resisted all but the most tepid attempts at reform or elimination. Old Senate hands Arenberg, who served as an aide to three senators, and Dove, the body’s parliamentarian emeritus, rejoice in that fact in this brief celebration of each senator’s right to nearly unlimited debate. More

Defending the Filibuster
August 12, 2012
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire

Debate Over the Senate's Use of the Filibuster
June 23, 2012
NPR
Diane Rehm's Show
Listen

An effective Senate needs filibusters
June 13, 2012
Boston Globe
RICHARD A. ARENBERG


As the inept vice president on HBO’s “Veep,” Julia Lewis-Dreyfus is fighting for a never quite defined filibuster reform bill. It’s the perfect foil for comedy, frustratingly unattainable, but directed at a target apparently richly deserving of ridicule.

In the real world, Majority Leader Harry Reid, frustrated by the latest Republican filibuster, recently apologized for failing to support filibuster reform. In addition, Common Cause has filed a lawsuit claiming that Rule XXII, which requires 60 votes to cut off a filibuster, is unconstitutional. The suit claims, “The principle of majority rule is so basic to the concept of a democratically elected legislative body that it did not need to be expressly stated in the Constitution.” MORE

Five Best Columns
June 12, 2012
The Atlantic Wire
Arenberg resists the growing calls to eliminate the filibuster from the Senate in light of its overuse in recent years. He makes the case that the filibuster is essential to the Senate's workings. "What we have seen in recent years is bad behavior, no doubt. But the solution for partisan bad behavior is not rewriting the Senate rules." The filibuster requires the majority -- which has huge advantages in advancing legislation, debate, and amendments -- consult the minority. "The House operates by majority rule. What extreme partisanship has meant there is that the majority ignores the minority, the leadership rarely speaks to each other, and the minority is nearly legislatively irrelevant."MORE

Richard Arenberg Interview
June 8, 2012
Louise Schiavone Iterview

Sunday Dialogue: Getting Judges Confirmed
March 3, 2012
New York Times
It is tempting when confronted with the obstructionist behavior of the current Senate minority to focus on rewriting the Senate’s rules so that the majority can work its will. This would, if successful, treat the symptom but ignore the disease. The disease is a deeply polarized and inflexible political environment that frustrates the spirit of constructive compromise a vibrant democracy demands. MORE

Don't Rewire Filibuster Rules
January 24, 2012
The Hill
It is hard to disagree with the headline on Bill Galston and Mark McKinnon’s op-ed in The Hill on Jan. 17: “Time for up-or-down votes in Senate on appointees.” The recent, highly partisan tit-for-tat demeans senators and the president, intensifies the polarization of the parties and deepens the public’s cynicism about Washington. MORE

Senate Filibuster is Not the Problem
December 16, 2011
Bangor Daily News
If the thrust of the BDN’s Dec. 14 editorial “Senate filibuster’s sad, maddening history” is that Senate Republicans holding the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to be the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first director hostage is sad and maddening, I agree. MORE