The past and future of the supermajority senate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The distinguishing feature of the modern U.S. Senate is the ability of any senator to block legislation and nominations, forcing the rest of the chamber to limit debate using a slow process that requires a 60-vote supermajority. This article explains the development of this new and powerful veto in the legislative process, its use as a minority party veto, and then reviews options for restoring the balance between governance and deliberation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Filibuster
  • Senate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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