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NEWS
By Linda R. Monk | September 18, 1995
ALEXANDRIA, VA. -- In honor of Constitution Day, which was celebrated yesterday, allow me to dispel the most popular myth about our government: In America, the majority rules.Wrong answer. One of the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution is that democracy is not an unmitigated good. That's why we have a Bill of Rights -- which gives individuals and minorities some protection against the tyranny of the majority. For, as James Madison recognized, a democracy can be just as despotic as any other form of government.
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NEWS
December 5, 2013
It is most disturbing that former Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and so many current members of the U.S. Senate and House do not understand that minority rule in either house of Congress was one of the fears expressed by the Framers of the Constitution ( "The nuclear option: then and now," Dec. 1). The "nuclear option" of eliminating the filibuster for certain appointments is not a reversal of the intent of the Framers - it is a return to their original intent. Indeed, the entire portion of Rule 22 of the Senate that requires any vote to be more than a majority of the quorum present is in violation of the higher ranking "supreme law of the land.
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NEWS
By Arthur S. Flemming and Ray Marshall | June 1, 1994
MANY Americans think the primary cause of gridlock in Congress is the inability of a majority to agree on action. The real problem is more basic.In the Senate, majority rule is becoming the exception rather than the rule.Week after week, we see as many as 59 of the 100 senators ready to act on legislation -- to pass or defeat it. But Senate rules permit a minority of 41 or fewer to filibuster -- to prevent the majority from voting at all. To stop a filibuster, 60 votes are needed.A minority -- sometimes one senator -- can demand ransom in exchange for providing the 60th vote; often, the price is either watered-down legislation or "pork."
NEWS
December 2, 2013
In response to Jules Witcover's column ("Nuclear option preserves majority rule for Senate Democrats," Nov. 26), I guess if I threaten to kill someone, but don't do it, I am still liable for murder charge. This is equivalent to the argument that the Democrats doing the "option" is turnaround as fair play. You would think the White House or George Soros could send your columnist better arguments than that. Why don't the Democrats just use the "reconciliation" method and kickbacks?
NEWS
March 26, 2010
Tea partiers claim their anger and violent rage is because the government isn't listening ("Protests out of bounds," March 26). Let's review the facts. In the 2008 election, President Obama vowed to reform health care. Not only was he elected, but Democrats were elected as the majority in both houses of Congress. Health care reform passes both houses and was signed into law by Mr. Obama. Democracy in action! Maybe the tea partiers should check the Constitution. What I see is the best of what the Constitution stands for -- popular sovereignity, majority rule, separtion of powers, and checks and balances.
NEWS
November 13, 1995
ON A CONTINENT that has had more than its share of turmoil and disasters, South Africa continues to beam a ray of hope. Granted, much of the euphoria of the first days of majority rule in the spring of 1994 has been tempered by the hard facts of real life. But President Nelson Mandela governs by pragmatism and South African voters are proving to be surprisingly astute, considering that the country was long deprived of real democracy.The recent local elections are a case in point. The ANC rallied, gaining about 60 percent of the vote, to no one's surprise.
NEWS
December 21, 1998
DURING THE last full decade of South Africa's apartheid in the 1980s, neighboring Zimbabwe was often hailed as proof that black majority rule could work. More recently, though, it has become an example of how unwise policies practiced by an unchallenged, aging leader can throw a country into hopelessness.This situation has been only too common in post-colonial Africa. Eventually, unhappiness swept aside such founding presidents as Tanzania's Julius Nyerere, Zambia's Kenneth Kaunda and Malawi's Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | February 9, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Using a century-old Supreme Court case as a model, lawyers for 15 Democratic representatives and the League of Women Voters filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging the constitutionality of a new rule in the House of Representatives that requires a three-fifths vote to approve any increase in the income tax rate."
NEWS
By A.R.M. BABU | March 8, 1994
-- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. -- As South Africa approaches its first democratic election next month, apprehension over the prospect of majority rule is not confined to Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi's Inkatha movement, nor to the country's 5 million whites.Apartheid has left behind a legacy of fear and suspicion that infects all ethnic groups, not just black and white. Although widely viewed as a collaborator with the former apartheid regime, Chief Buthelezi has become a leading articulator of those fears.
NEWS
By THEO LIPPMAN JR | June 30, 1994
FORMER SEN. Charles McC. Mathias is a member of Action, Not Gridlock! (ANG!) -- an organization calling for an end to the filibuster in the Senate.The filibuster is the parliamentary maneuver that allows a minority to kill a bill by preventing a vote on it. Filibusterers refuse to stop talking and give up the floor. Senate-type bodies have had rules allowing such at least since Caesar's day. It takes 60 votes in today's 100-member U.S. Senate to shut filibusterers LTC up and sit them down.
NEWS
September 26, 2013
There are more than a few reasons why I dislike conservative politics. Texas, which gave us Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, John Cornyn and Louis Gomert, among others, decides not to fund Obamacare, the law of the land, because constituents there want it overturned. What happened to majority rule? Conservatives would rather suspend the government's operations and default on legally valid debt obligations rather than have to wait until the next election to argue their viewpoint. They think that Second Amendment rights means they should suffer no inconvenience for greater background checks that might to possibly prevent a disturbed individual from buying a gun. They want to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency because every person or business should be free of government regulation, totally ignoring the effects of pollution on the health of many.
NEWS
EDITORIAL FROM THE AEGIS | September 5, 2013
It is necessary to look no farther than a high school civics book to come up with the basic idea that majority rule, unchecked, is nothing more than mob rule. For a society to be a democracy, it must abide by the rule of law and respect the rights of the minority. It's a simple idea and one that should sound familiar to every American. The simple idea is the reason the Bill of Rights was appended to the original U.S. Constitution, and the idea of being treated equal under the law is one of the many things that makes this country appealing to so many people who come from places that don't have such an ingrained sense of fair play.
NEWS
By John Garvey | December 7, 2011
There has been a lot of discussion in these pages about a recent statement on religious liberty issued by Maryland's Catholic bishops. Unfortunately, the discussion has ignored most of what the bishops had to say. It has focused almost exclusively on the Catholic Church's opposition to same-sex marriage — an issue the state legislature may revisit in its next session. Let us leave that controversy aside for the moment and consider what the bishops actually said. The bishops' statement, "The Most Sacred of All Property," takes its title from an essay by James Madison.
NEWS
By Jeff Rosen and Susan Dudley | August 9, 2010
Every year, more than 60 federal agencies issue thousands of new regulations covering every sector of the American economy. The Small Business Administration estimates the cumulative costs of these regulations at more than $1 trillion annually, or more than $10,000 per household per year. These regulations are legally binding, yet they emerge from unelected officials in regulatory agencies; Congress never has to vote to approve them. Over the last few decades, on average, between 30 and 40 of the new final regulations issued each year have been considered "major," with impacts of more than $100 million.
NEWS
March 26, 2010
Tea partiers claim their anger and violent rage is because the government isn't listening ("Protests out of bounds," March 26). Let's review the facts. In the 2008 election, President Obama vowed to reform health care. Not only was he elected, but Democrats were elected as the majority in both houses of Congress. Health care reform passes both houses and was signed into law by Mr. Obama. Democracy in action! Maybe the tea partiers should check the Constitution. What I see is the best of what the Constitution stands for -- popular sovereignity, majority rule, separtion of powers, and checks and balances.
NEWS
By Diane Cameron | May 24, 2009
Tis the season of commencement speeches. At bigger schools we'll look for the celebrity speechmakers and listen for sound bites from the Bills - Clinton or Cosby - along with an assortment of CEOs and novelists and local politicians. Most of their talks inspire, but there has come to be an underlying message that links education, graduation and material success. In our excitement for the new grads, are we putting the emphasis in the wrong place? As we celebrate, we calculate the value of a high school or college degree: We compare tuition with the expected wages and future positions as if that's the transaction in full.
NEWS
By Elliot L. Richardson | October 7, 1994
IF THE Senate operated by majority rule, Congress would have passed a lobbying reform law this week and a campaign finance reform law last week. It also would have adopted the first major telecommunications reform law in 50 years, reined in the giveaway of taxpayer-owned gold to private mining companies and perhaps adopted a compromise health-care reform plan.Each of these bills is now dead for Congress, because a filibuster frenzy has made majority rule the exception rather than the rule in the Senate.
NEWS
July 28, 1993
The bloody assault Sunday on South African church-goers was a repulsive piece of symbolism. Bad enough that a church was selected as a target in the continued civil strife as South Africa moves haltingly toward racial justice. But predominantly white St. James Church, affiliated with an evangelistic Anglican denomination, has been open to all races for 25 years and reached out to a nearby black township. This was not a random attack such as has been marring the efforts by majorities of blacks and whites to create a constitutional, multi-racial society.
BUSINESS
By Walter Hamilton and Walter Hamilton,Los Angeles Times | June 19, 2007
NEW YORK -- Wall Street won a major victory yesterday when the Supreme Court ruled that people who lost money on initial public stock offerings in the late-1990s Internet boom could not sue their brokerages under U.S. antitrust laws. The Supreme Court sided with investment banks that had been accused of conspiring to inflate IPO prices, ruling 7-1 that lawsuits alleging initial public offering abuses have to be brought under securities rather than antitrust statutes. The ruling reversed a 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that had allowed the class action suit to move forward.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | January 24, 2007
Lordy, Lordy, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley wasn't that bad a mayor of Baltimore, was he? You'd think so if you read attorney Warren Brown's now controversial letter to black Baltimore mayoral candidates last week. Brown sent the letter to current Mayor Sheila Dixon and several other black candidates who have announced they will run against her in this year's election. "Surely you must recognize," the never-bashful defense attorney wrote, "that with five Blacks pursuing this office, a member of the (white)
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