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Binder, Sarah A
Minority rights, majority rule : partisanship and the development of Congress / Sarah A. Binder
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, c1997
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 3rd Floor  JK1096 .B56 1997    AVAILABLE
Subject United States. Congress
Subject(s) Legislation -- United States
Subject United States -- Politics and government -- Decision making
Physical Description xiii, 236 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 225-232) and index
Contents 1. The partisan basis of procedural choice -- 2. The evolving concepts of House and Senate minority rights -- 3. Procedural choice in the early Congress: The case of the "previous question" -- 4. Allocating minority rights in the House, 1789-1990 -- 5. Institutionalizing party in the nineteenth-century House -- 6. Stacking the partisan deck in the twentieth-century House -- 7. Inherited rules and procedural choice in the Senate -- 8. Assessing the partisan theory -- App. 1. Summary of changes in minority rights -- App. 2. Measuring congressional workload -- App. 3. Measuring party behavior
Summary Minority Rights, Majority Rule seeks to explain a phenomenon evident to most observers of the U.S. Congress. In the House of Representatives, majority parties rule and minorities are seldom able to influence national policy making. In the Senate, minorities quite often call the shots, empowered by the filibuster to frustrate the majority. Why did the two chambers develop such distinctive legislative styles? Conventional wisdom suggests that differences in the size and workload of the House and Senate led the two chambers to develop very different rules of procedure. Binder offers an alternative, partisan theory to explain the creation and suppression of minority rights, showing that contests between partisan coalitions have throughout congressional history altered the distribution of procedural rights. Most importantly, new majorities inherit procedural choices made in the past
Note This institutional dynamic has fueled the power of partisan majorities in the House but stopped them in their tracks in the Senate

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