Assignment 2: Unit Four-State Hearing

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Unit Four - State Hearing Question 2 The filibuster is essential to good governance in the United States. By nature, this arrangement works to protect minority rights, encourage compromise, and prevent impromptu legislation. Although indispensable, the filibuster must be reevaluated and modified to prevent impotence in the Senate. Majoritarian government traditionally marginalizes minority interests. Especially in times of crisis, minority groups may be jeopardized by majority legislation. The Japanese-American internment during World War II, a policy based primarily on racial discrimination, is one such example of majority oppression. The filibuster checks this dominance by the majority. Democratic in nature, this policy allows each senator to speak while legislation remains on the floor. By means of a cloture vote sixty senators may end discussion and vote on the proposed bill. Without this precaution, a simple majority may pass legislation without considering the opinions of the minority. This is especially dangerous in the United States – a country historically dominated by only two political parties. Since a single political party seldom gains the necessary supermajority of sixty senators needed to move to direct vote, the filibuster ensures that the minority party retains a voice in government. …show more content…

Requiring sixty senators to end debate, this forethought allows senators to point out flawed legislation and debate possible complications. Further review may circumvent the issues of unpopular laws. The Patriot Act was passed quickly by congress in the wake of terrorist attacks. Although opposed by a minority of senators, the bill was quickly passed by Congress and approved by the President. Despite the perceived necessity, the bill was widely criticized by the American people and later revised. Abolishing the filibuster could result in similar congressional errs becoming

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