SEVEN v. SEVENTY-SEVEN The Magnificent Seven was a spectacularly successful Hollywood adaptation of the Japanese classic Seven Samurai. It featured a memorable Elmer Bernstein score and outstanding actors including Charles Bronson, Yul Brynner, James Coburn, Steve McQueen and Eli Wallach. The  Seven were hired to protect a village from marauding bandits. The Selfish Seventy-Seven are United States Senators “hired” to protect a country whose Constitution they swore to “support and defend.” What the Seven and the Seventy-Seven have in common is compensation for their services. For the Seven, that compensation was meager; for the Seventy-Seven, it is exorbitant. The significant difference is this. The Seven did what they were paid for; they  protected the village, even at the cost of some of their lives. The Seventy-Seven did not; they are selling out the Constitution to benefit their political lives. The Seventy-Seven have committed themselves to preserving the unconstitutional requirement of a super-majority [60] vote to allow a legislative measure to be enacted. There is only one way around that requirement – a procedure called reconciliation. However, it is a tricky alternative which can be used in only limited circumstances.
 Earlier this year, the 60 vote requirement was eliminated for confirmation of Supreme Court justices. It should be eliminated for legislation for the same reason: the requirement violates the Constitution.  THE CONSTITUTION The Constitution specifies a super-majority for only a limited list of Senate actions.  [E.g., ratification of treaties, overriding Presidential vetoes, approving constitutional amendments.] Both Alexander Hamilton and James Madison indicated in the Federalist Papers a clear belief in majority rule, with Hamilton stating that “the fundamental maxim of republican government . . . requires that the sense of the majority should prevail.”
 But recently a letter was written asserting the resolve of a number of US Senators [from both parties] to preserve the unconstitutional requirement for legislative measures, stating: Senators have expressed a variety of opinions about the appropriateness of limiting debate when we are considering judicial and executive branch nominations. Regardless of our past disagreements on that issue, we are united in our determination to preserve the ability of Members to engage in extended debate when bills are on the Senate floor. Note: the Democrats are only recent converts to this theory.  When they are in the majority, the Democrats insist on eradicating the filibuster for legislative purposes.  In 2012 and 2013, having the  majority, this was the party line: We don’t need more checks and balances: The federal government was designed to be inherently inefficient in order to prevent radical swings in policy when new parties take control. That’s fine and good. But there are plenty of checks and balances with two houses in the legislature, the committee process, presidential vetoes and judicial review without a supermajority requirement in one of the chambers. As noted earlier, the founders didn’t intend for it to be this way. [Emphasis added]
When they used the “nuclear option” to to eliminate the filibuster for judicial nominations, they argued it should have killed the filibuster for legislation too:
It’s a horrible institution with no moral or practical legitimacy, ‘an anti-democratic monster’… Now, the Democrats are in the minority and, surprise, surprise, they sing a different tune: the contradictory claim that the 60 vote barrier is essential for bi-partisan cooperation. LOL! As if these birds ever could be bi-partisan on anything but what feathers both their nests! Bipartisanship occurs only when their self interest is at stake. Republicans and Democrats are in sync when it comes to furthering their re-election. When circumstances arise, they want to be able to tell their constituents, that, by courageously filibustering, they stopped the bad guys on the other side. That is more important to them than the Constitution they took an oath to “support and defend.” To be faithful to the Constitution, the “nuclear option” should be employed. As one writer pointed out:It’s not the nuclear option. It’s the constitutional option.

Ramirez on target:
  Why this is vitally important Unless it is changed, the Democrats will use this unconstitutional procedure to block the President from fulfilling his campaign promises.  Do we want: to see voter reform to stop the fraud that elects Democrats, to have tax reform to make our business competitive in world markets, to cease the abuse of our country by the United Nations, to overhaul foreign aid including having NATO pay its fair share, to enact term limits so that our representatives will be responsive to us, etc. etc. etc.? It will not happen until we remove the unconstitutional filibuster. This is not rocket science; it is simple math. 52 Republican Senators lose if the requirement is 60 votes but they win if 51 is the measure.
 Who are the Seventy-Seven who vow to block these goals? 61 senators signed a letter to Senate Leaders McConnell and Schumer urging retention of the filibuster and McConnell and Schumer were already supportive. That’s 63, composed of  34 Democrats [includes 2 Independents who vote as Democrats] and 29 Republicans. We safely may add 14 Democrats, who do not appear on the letter, but voted for retention of the filibuster earlier this year on the Gorsuch nomination. 77 – Q.E.D. Here they are48  Democrats  Baldwin WI   Bennet CO   Blumenthal CT  Booker NJ   Brown OH
Cantwell WA   Cardin MD   Carper DE   Casey  PA   Coons DE
Cortez Masto NV   Donnelly IN   Duckworth IL Durbin IL Feinstein CA
Franken MN   Gillibrand NY   Harris CA   Hassan NH   Heinrich NM
Heitkamp ND   Hirono HI   Kaine VA   King I-ME   Klobuchar MN
Leahy VT   Manchin WV   Markey MA   Cortez Masto NV   McCaskill MO
Menendez NJ   Murphy CT   Murray WA   Nelson FL   Peters MI
Reed RI   Sanders (I-VT)   Schatz HI   Shaheen NH Schumer NY
Stabenow MI   Tester MT   Udall NM   Van Hollen MD   Warner VA
Warren MA   Whitehouse RI   Wyden OR 
 29 Republicans Alexander TN   Blunt MO   Boozman AR   Cassidy LA   Moore Capito WV
Collins ME   Cochran MS   Enzi WY   Flake AZ   Graham SC
Grassley IA   Hatch UT   Heller NV   Isakson GA Kennedy LA
Lee UT   McCain AZ   McConnell KY   Moran KS   Murkowski AK
Portman OH   Roberts KS   Rubio FL   Sasse NE   Strange AL
Thune SD   Tillis NC   Wicker MS   Young IN  

Why would 29 Republicans sign that letter? We know that at least three of them [Hatch, Graham and McCain] in the past have maintained that the filibuster rule should be preserved.
I’m one of the biggest advocates for the filibuster. It’s the only way to protect the minority, and we’ve been in the minority a lot more than we’ve been in the majority. It’s just a great, great protection for the minority.
 Think about that.  The Democrats have proven time and again that they will eliminate the 60 vote requirement whenever it might benefit the Republicans. So the “great, great protection for the minority” Hatch uses as his rationale to back the 60 vote filibuster does not exist The remaining Republican SenatorsWe hope that the 23 Republicans whose names do not appear on the letter will be true to the Constitution.Barrasso WY   Burr NC   Corker TN   Cornyn TX   Cotton AR
Crapo ID   Cruz TX   Daines MT   Ernst IA   Fischer NE
Hoeven ND   Inhofe OK   Johnson WI   Lankford OK   Paul KY
Perdue GA   Risch ID   Rounds SD   Scott SC   Shelby AL
Strange AL   Sullivan AK   Toomey PA
 How do we get all the Republicans on track?


Ronald Reagan’s rule: When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat. Will that work? I do not know. But THIS IS OUR LAST BEST CHANCE!We cannot sit idly by and let political parasites repudiate our Constitution, the instrument which gave us, and the world, the best system of government ever devised.  Remember Network:  I’m  mad as hell and I ‘m not going to take this any more!   We have to have that attitude. Obama, Hillary and the Left to the contrary,  the fact is America has been exceptional as a positive force in world history. We must make America great again. Everyone of us has to bring the heat: write and call the Republican Senators and even Democrat Senators, write letters to the editor; speak at local meetings, talk one-on-one to our friends, reply to political solicitations making contributions contingent on responses,  and, yes, contribute to those Senators who will stand up for us, WE THE PEOPLE  

Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: ‘We the people.’ ‘We the people’ tell the government what to do, it doesn’t tell us. … Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which ‘We the people’ tell the government what it is allowed to do. ‘We the people’ are free. 

– Ronald Reagan

Dick Coleman

Richard M. Coleman served as National Co-Chair, Lawyers for Reagan-Bush ’84 and really does miss RR. A graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, Dick is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a past president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and of the National Caucus of Metropolitan Bar Leaders. A professor on the faculty of Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution for 17 years, he received Pepperdine’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He has hosted TV forums on legal and financial topics and written and spoken extensively on political issues.

© Richard M. Coleman 2018