The Senate is poised to apologize for its failure to enact anti-lynching legislation between 1890 and 1952. Why didn’t the Senate act?
In the past, efforts to pass such legislation fell victim to Senate filibusters despite pleas for its passage by seven presidents, among others, between 1890 and 1952.
I suppose Senator Robert Byrd, widely known then as a former Kleagle, better known today as the “conscience of the Senate,” participated in some of those filibusters. Do you suppose he will oppose the current resolution, and explain that the filibuster is a pillar of democracy? No, probably not. I suspect the Senate Democrats will keep their “conscience” under wraps for this one.
UPDATE: As several readers have pointed out, Byrd isn’t quite that old–he was first elected to the Senate in 1958. So his personal involvement with the filibuster didn’t begin until the Civil Rights era. The point, of course, remains valid nevertheless.
FURTHER UPDATE: Reader Ken Kemper adds:
I watched the news all weekend, and did not see one report on this topic that mentioned the reason behind why the legislation failed to pass over the years. I kept waiting to hear the