Sharing the Credit for Today’s Filibuster Victory

Sharing the Credit for Today's Filibuster Victory

Every now and then, right wins out — even in Washington.

The Senate’s vote today rolling back the filibuster rule and allowing a simple majority of senators to determine the fate of most presidential nominations is a big victory for our democracy. There’s much, much more to do to fix the Senate, but this is an important step. You can read our press release about it here.

Common Cause has been working for several years now on Senate rules reform and there are a lot of smiles being shared around our office today. But the biggest grin, I’m pretty confident, is on the face of someone who’s not here.

That would be Bob Edgar, our president from 2007 until his untimely death last April. Bob’s dogged pursuit of filibuster reform was critical to building the coalition of good government activists who have focused public attention on what traditionally has been an “inside the beltway” issue. He and Emmet Bondurant, an Atlanta lawyer who serves on our national governing board, were the driving forces behind our lawsuit challenging the filibuster’s constitutionality; that case is still pending, by the way, and today’s win strengthens our determination to see it through.

For all of us here, maybe the nicest thing about today’s events was Sen. Tom Harkin’s public acknowledgement of Bob’s role — and Common Cause’s — in advancing filibuster reform. Sen. Harkin is the modern day father of filibuster reform in the Senate; Bob was proud to be with him in the battle, as are all of us.