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The Conventional Option

43 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2012 Last revised: 5 Sep 2014

Gregory Koger

University of Miami - School of Business Administration

Sergio J. Campos

University of Miami - School of Law

Date Written: October 4, 2013

Abstract

The filibuster in the United States Senate effectively imposes a supermajority vote requirement to pass any legislation. Both supporters and critics of the filibuster agree that any filibuster reform would require extraordinary measures. In contrast to this consensus, this Article illustrates a method we call the "conventional option," which allows the filibuster to be reformed by a simple majority of senators at any time using ordinary Senate procedures. As we show below, a majority of senators using the conventional option 1) cannot be filibustered; 2) can act on any day the Senate is in session (not just at the beginning of a new Congress); and 3) does not need to invoke the Constitution. In fact, the Article shows that both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have limited filibustering in the past by using the conventional option described in this Article.

Keywords: filibuster, Senate, nuclear option, constitutional option, cloture

JEL Classification: D72, D73

Suggested Citation

Koger, Gregory and Campos, Sergio J., The Conventional Option (October 4, 2013). Washington University Law Review, Vol. 91, No. 4, 2014; University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-36. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2176938 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2176938

Gregory Koger (Contact Author)

University of Miami - School of Business Administration ( email )

P.O. Box 248126
Florida
Coral Gables, FL 33124
United States

Sergio J. Campos

University of Miami - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States

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