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Majority Rule

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NEWS
October 26, 1994 | By ELLIOT RICHARDSON
A lot of people think that when they see gridlock in Washington, it's because a majority in Congress can't agree on effective action. The truth is more disturbing. Filibusters have made majority rule the exception rather than the rule in the U.S. Senate. In recent weeks, majorities of both the House and Senate were ready to reform our campaign-finance laws, require lobbyists to register and disclose who is paying for their services and prohibit members of Congress from accepting gifts and expensive meals from lobbyists.
NEWS
May 28, 1990 | By ANTHONY HAZLITT HEARD
There are, at last, real prospects of fundamental change in South Africa - and that means majority rule. This can be stated with confidence - after the many wasted decades of apartheid. Yet the tortuous process of getting there poses huge perils for both the white minority and the black majority. Exactly how and when the new South Africa will emerge from the current maneuvering and confusion is still unclear. But the two most prominent leaders of the whites and the blacks are now tugging together to open the first musty pages of this new book.
NEWS
March 13, 1986 | By David B. Ottaway, Washington Post (Ken Fireman of the Inquirer Washington Bureau contributed to this article.)
The Reagan administration's chief spokesman on Africa said yesterday that the United States favors black majority rule in South Africa and regards members of the militant black African National Congress (ANC) as "freedom fighters" in their battle against white rule. The remarks by Assistant Secretary of State Chester Crocker may have been the first time that anyone from the Reagan administration has publicly endorsed black majority rule, and they were certainly the first time it has called the ANC members "freedom fighters" Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, Crocker was asked by its chairman, Rep. Howard E. Wolpe (D., Mich.
NEWS
November 22, 2000 | by Michael Kinsley
If George W. Bush is sworn in as president even though Al Gore got more votes, Gore voters (including me) will be disappointed. But is it unjust? The truth is, not very. The Electoral College used to drive me batty. No one seriously tries to defend it as an exercise in representative government, as if the voters were actually choosing someone else to choose the president for them. The modern case for the Electoral College is that it will lead to an unambiguous result. Even a very close popular vote is likely to produce a solid winner after it's put through this 18th-century contraption.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By John Samples
The U.S. Senate has long promised and tolerated unlimited debate on legislation. It's only with 60 votes that the Senate's "cloture" rule can be invoked to stop debate and require a vote. In practice, that means that 41 senators can block most action by threatening to prolong debate, or filibuster. But now some senators and outside interests want to allow debate to be cut off by a simple majority, eliminating the filibuster. The desire for change comes from partisan passions and recent frustrations.
NEWS
July 3, 1993 | By Vanessa Williams, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Mayor Rendell and City Council President John F. Street yesterday urged city residents to support the awarding of the Philadelphia Liberty Medal to South African leaders Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk. Mandela, president of the African National Congress, and de Klerk, president of South Africa, will share the honor tomorrow at a ceremony at Independence Hall. Protests are planned by those who oppose de Klerk's selection. At a City Hall news conference, Rendell passed out copies of a letter he had just received from Thabo Mbeki, secretary for international affairs of the ANC. Mbeki wrote that Mandela "respects the decision of the international selection commission with regard to this matter and has great respect for the integrity and good judgment of the members of the commission.
NEWS
December 19, 1994 | by Bruce Ackerman, New York Times
Newt Gingrich has announced his intention to violate the Constitution immediately upon becoming House speaker. The new Republican majority plans to adopt a rule that will require a three-fifths vote to enact laws that increase taxes. When the Constitution departs from its basic commitment to majority rule, it does so explicitly; a two-thirds vote of both houses is required to override a veto. Two-thirds majorities are needed when the Senate approves a treaty or impeaches a president; a similar margin is needed when the House expels a member.
NEWS
April 15, 1993 | BY MSGR. S.J. ADAMO
The first three months of the Clinton Administration come under the rubric "The Educating of the New President. " Indeed, his resounding defeat at the hands of stubborn Republican opposition to his $16.3 billion jobs creation bill may prove to be both salutary and humbling. One of its auxilary blessings is the revelation that he is no JFK or even a clone of Lyndon B. Johnson. He is, after all, a man who squeaked into the White House against a tired and depressed George Bush. He forgets that he never got close to a majority of the popular vote.
NEWS
May 10, 1994 | by Kitty Caparella, Daily News Staff Writer
The air was filled with anticipation and joy yesterday in Johannesburg, South Africa, when a delegation of Americans, led by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, stepped off the first lady's plane. The scene was described by the Rev. William H. Gray III, a member of the 40-person delegation, who said by phone after the 18-hour flight, "I am overjoyed to be here. " Gray, 52, a former congressman and now president of the United Negro College Fund, joined the U.S. delegation after President Clinton named him as special envoy to Haiti on Sunday.
NEWS
December 27, 1997 | By Thomas A. Bowden
In Sunset Boulevard, silent-screen star Norma Desmond listens as a young admirer tactlessly recalls her faded glory. "You used to be in pictures," says the fan. "You used to be big. " "I am big," replies Norma, her voice dripping with contempt. "It's the pictures that got small. " If only our fading Constitution could speak, it would summon all the grandeur of its illustrious past and say, echoing Norma Desmond, "I am big. It's the Supreme Court that got small. " Have you wondered why the Supreme Court's docket always seems to be littered with arcane issues of little consequence, while our vital liberties are being continually eroded by government?
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By John Samples
The U.S. Senate has long promised and tolerated unlimited debate on legislation. It's only with 60 votes that the Senate's "cloture" rule can be invoked to stop debate and require a vote. In practice, that means that 41 senators can block most action by threatening to prolong debate, or filibuster. But now some senators and outside interests want to allow debate to be cut off by a simple majority, eliminating the filibuster. The desire for change comes from partisan passions and recent frustrations.
NEWS
January 7, 2013
BY SEVERAL measures, the 112th Congress - which limped to a close last week - could be judged the worst in modern history. Not only did it fail to address many of the nation's pressing problems, it created new ones. Without substantial changes, the 113th Congress, sworn in Thursday, will likely be no better. At a 9 percent approval rating, Congress' popularity was one point below the percentage of Americans who favor a communist takeover. Its lack of productivity was historic: The legendary "Do Nothing" Congress made infamous by Harry Truman produced four times more laws (906 to 220)
NEWS
February 8, 2012 | By Steve Frank
The debate about who should decide the legal status of same-sex marriage, now unfolding in New Jersey and nationwide, is as old as the Constitution. Should the people decide in a referendum, as Gov. Christie maintains? Or should the Legislature or the courts settle it? While New Jersey ponders that question, Washington's state Legislature is poised to pass a bill allowing same-sex marriage. For anyone keeping score, that will bring the number of states that have permitted gay marriage by legislation or court order to seven.
NEWS
September 20, 2010
Majority rule isn't always best A letter Tuesday ("Republicans are the ones listening") suggests that members of Congress shouldn't have voted for the health-care law because polls showed that 60 percent of the people were opposed to it. But majorities are often wrong, as most people don't have a full understanding of the problems we face as a society, nor do they fully understand the solutions. Our elected officials are not in government simply to fulfill the wishes of their constituents.
NEWS
March 6, 2008 | By STEVEN HILL
WITH RALPH Nader in the race, Democrats are fuming and no doubt preparing to use the same legal tricks they used in 2004 to keep Nader off the ballot in many states. Republicans are cackling with glee. But Republicans shouldn't cackle too loudly. They've also been hurt by the spoiler dilemma. In fact, the GOP lost control of the U.S. Senate due to Libertarian Party candidates in Montana, Washington, Missouri, Nevada and South Dakota spoiling things for Republicans. And many observers believe that Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush in 1992 only because Ross Perot drained away enough votes from Bush.
NEWS
January 13, 2006
I WAS DISGUSTED to see the front-page story of Thomas Capano with his overturned death penalty. The change was due to a Supreme Court decision on being unanimous in the decision process. This stinks because the majority always rules, so why change now? For what he did, even lethal injection isn't good enough. As far as rotting in jail, I think it costs too much. His penalty should be the same as he gave his victim - and absolutely nothing else. Thomas G. Lutek, Philadelphia Respecting Casey's abortion views "They're pro-Casey - but not that pro" (Jan.
NEWS
November 17, 2005
TO THE editor and management: Sorry about your "sagging profits. " That can be turned around, but you can't replace the honesty, wisdom and clarity of Carol Towarnicky. To borrow from another medium, she is your anchorwoman who, with deep thinking, made the complexities of issues critical to democracy easy for us to understand so that we can participate as citizens should. That's a gift. Hope to read her contributing opinions often. Arline Jolles Lotman, Philadelphia Outraged by K12 Re the K12 controversy: As an African-American female, I was appalled when I heard Bill Bennett's statement.
NEWS
September 21, 2005
"Blog" is short for "Web log," a diary on the Internet. Blogs can be endless and self-indulgent, or thoughtful and challenging. "Blog Cabin" offers a selection from recent high-profile blogs. Bleeding Right http://bleedingright.antidoterecords.net/ Dear [U.S. District] Judge [Lawrence K.] Karlton: You're a complete and utter moron. Have you noticed that the Pledge [of Allegiance] states "under God" and not "under the Christian God"? There are many different gods for many different people.
NEWS
August 21, 2005 | David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey
David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey served in the Justice Department under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush The Senate soon will be asked for its "advice and consent" on the nomination of John G. Roberts for the Supreme Court. This role was set by the Constitution's framers, who expected that senators would exercise independent judgment on a nominee's qualifications. That includes, of course, examination of the nominee's background, accomplishments, and his or her understanding of the Supreme Court's role in our constitutional system.
SPORTS
February 4, 2005 | By Daily News sports writers
Les Bowen A lot of what has been said about the Eagles nationally over the past 2 weeks sells the team short. The defense is excellent, the quarterback is a great competitor just entering his prime, the organization overall is poised to dominate the NFC for at least a few more years. But I look at the Patriots' two playoff wins, the teams they defeated and the way they did it, and I just don't see the Eagles making this happen. It would be a great story; we'd be noting various anniversaries of such an upset for at least half a century.
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