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Manchin’s Incorrect Claim of a 232-Year “Tradition” of Systematic Obstruction

Yet it took decades – 1856 – before the Senate established an unlimited right of debate. Before that, there had been a few skirmishes in the Senate, such as in 1826, 1837 or 1841, which some experts trace as the start of the filibuster. The word “systematic obstruction” was first used in the Senate to refer to unlimited debate in 1853, according to Fisk and Chemerinsky. But it was not until the 1880s that obstructions succeeded in derailing the legislation; before that, all efforts failed.


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