The filibuster (merely an arbitrary rule of the Senate) magnifies problems of representation endemic to the Senate, where small and large states alike are each represented by two senators.
However, the population disparity between the largest and smallest states has increased significantly since the founding.
Today, the 26 least populous states are home to just 17 percent of the U.S population. This means that a group of senators representing a small minority of the country can use the filibuster to prevent the passage of bills with broad public support. Filibuster abuse also threatens checks and balances between the branches of government.
The relative stagnancy of Congress — which is in large part due to the filibuster — has pushed presidents to increase their use of executive power, which in turn often goes unchecked because of Congress’s inability to act.
The “Freedom to Vote” Act will correct these and other problems used to dilute our democracy’s key tenant, the right of all citizens to vote, have their vote equally counted and preserve majority rule.
Iris Hageney is a resident of Water Oak.