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Letter: Senate filibuster

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The new rule passed with a 52-48 vote in the U.S. Senate marks the most blatant and obvious attempt at degrading the system of checks and balances in modern political history. The new filibuster rules, which allow for a simple majority vote as opposed to the two-thirds in confirming presidential appointees, essentially gives President Obama — and any future president — a blank check on appointments if the president's own party holds the Senate majority.

Debate and bipartisan support in confirming presidential appointments has now been rendered obsolete. These new rules completely undermine the "advice and consent of the Senate" provision of the Constitution in favor of a new policy of "advice and consent of the majority party."

This new policy in the Senate marks a sad day for those who believe in upholding the Constitution and the system of checks and balances espoused in this document. The proponents of the rule who argue that this will end deadlock are willing to sacrifice constitutional norms in favor of the appearance of efficiency. This issue is more than simple partisan politics, but rather is an issue regarding the complete disregard for American precedent and constitutional checks on the presidency.

Matthew Coates

Cedar City