Senatorial Courtesy, Blue Slips Caught in the Fallout

April 18, 2014
Ian Millhiser has a very good piece on judicial nominations and blue slips over at Think Progress. It covers a lot of ground and is a wonderful read. Read More

A Caveat on Congressional Productivity

April 14, 2014
On Thursday, Chris Cillizza examined an Obama statement in Texas: “This has become the least productive Congress in modern history, recent memory. And that’s by objective measures, just basic… Read More

Will McCutcheon Decision help the House Majority?

April 3, 2014
To say the Republican majority has struggled with the influence of outside groups during the past two congresses is to put it mildly. These groups have stymied progress on major… Read More

Tradition v. Partisanship: Holds in a Post-Nuclear Senate

March 5, 2014
Originally posted for the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown. Since roughly the 1950s, “holds” have been a staple of the Senate landscape. Though they can’t be found in… Read More

Yes, Elections are Cultivating Polarization. But…

January 9, 2014
Competition for power, gerrymandering, disappearing marginal districts define Congress’s electoral landscape. Today, the American electorate is both closely divided and increasingly uncompetitive. In other words, partisan majorities are narrower today… Read More

Rules Changes through Precedent: History and Consequences

December 19, 2013
Don Wolfensberger wrote a nice piece on the parallels between Majority Leader Reid’s nuclear option  and Speaker Reed’s ruling in 1890 that eliminated dilatory motions in the House. Both are… Read More

The Senate’s Nuclear Winter… or Not

December 13, 2013
Since Democrats invoked the nuclear option, reducing cloture on judicial and executive nominations, there are serious concerns that those actions would result in fallout. Would the Republican minority, in retaliation… Read More

Our Very Unproductive Congress: Why Today’s Gridlock is Different and more Devastating

December 3, 2013
One of President Truman’s most repeated lines, the “Do Nothing Congress,” is increasingly being used less as a metaphor and more as a statement of fact. The 112th Congress was… Read More

Party Competition and the Supression of Minority Rights

November 21, 2013
This blog post has been in the back of my mind for some time, but is especially relevant given today’s events in the Senate.  I don’t have some profound… Read More

The Senate Went Nuclear. Is the Filibuster on the Endangered List?

November 21, 2013
Enormous change to the Senate occurred today. By majority vote, the Senate moved to proceed on judicial and executive nominations, with the exception of Supreme Court nominations. What you… Read More