Senate: From White Supremacy to Governmental Gridlock (Constitutionalism and Democracy) (Paperback)
In this lively analysis, Daniel Wirls examines the Senate in relation to our other institutions of government and the constitutional system as a whole, exposing the role of the "world's greatest deliberative body" in maintaining white supremacy in America and undermining effective government, from slavery in the nineteenth century to the contemporary underrepresentation of minorities.
From the founding onward, the Senate constructed for itself an exceptional role in the American system of government that has no firm basis in the Constitution. This self-proclaimed exceptional status is part and parcel of the Senate's problematic role in the governmental process over the past two centuries, a role shaped primarily by the combination of equal representation among states and the filibuster. As Wirls explains, the Senate's architecture, self-conception, and resulting behavior distort rather than complement democratic governance and explain the current gridlock in Washington, D.C.