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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Political Science

How The Filibuster (And Gridlock) Only Helps The Rich

It’s easy to assume that that debate about Harry Reid’s recent invocation of the “nuclear option” to limit the use of the filibuster on judicial nominations is yet another inside-the-beltway sideshow with little relevance to anyone except senators and policy wonks. But recent research that I’ve conducted with several colleagues (Peter Enns at Cornell University, Jana Morgan at the University of Tennessee, Thomas Volscho at CUNY-Staten Island and Christopher Witko at the University of South Carolina) suggests that nothing could be further from the truth. We have discovered that aspects of the U.S. political system that contribute to political gridlock – of which the filibuster is one prominent example – helps the super-rich gain while the rest of us fall behind.

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Monday, December 16, 2013