To the editor: Kudos to The Times Editorial Board for calling for an end to the filibuster in the Senate. There is, however, one compelling reason you do not cite for taking this action: the structural bias toward the Republicans that is already built into the Senate because the overrepresentation of sparsely populated rural states.
Vox news recently estimated that even though the Senate is now equally divided, the 50 senators who make up the Democratic caucus represent upward of 41 million more people than the Republicans.
Even without the filibuster, the Republicans have a built-in advantage in terms of overrepresenting the interests of their constituencies. Why should Democrats accept a flawed rule that exacerbates this already undemocratic situation?
Kevin Patrick, Del Mar
To the editor: I believe there is value in rules that force senators to look for votes from the minority. What's the point of having the greatest deliberative body in history if only one party is involved and its members do not deliberate?
The problem is not the rules; rather, it's the Republicans who make winning more important than good governance.
Why not replace the filibuster with a rule that requires having a minimum number of the minority members vote to end debate? Wouldn't you always want the minority involved in something as important as declaring war?
The idea would be to restore the balance that was lost after Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) became leader of the Republicans. I don't know how to do so in a way that keeps one party from blocking the will of the majority, save for the fact the majority party can easily become the minority.
Rob Aronson, Los Angeles
To the editor: Repealing the filibuster could be the worst thing that might happen in the U.S. Senate. It would mean that Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) could pass through the Senate all of the left-wing legislation passed by the House.
That could mean passage of the Green New Deal, Medicare for All and amnesty and a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the country without authorization; granting statehood to Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia (meaning there would be four new Democratic senators); and raising taxes by repealing the reform passed under President Trump.
Rule by the majority can be just another form of tyranny if you are in the minority.
Doug McDermott, Santa Monica
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.