Voting Rights: Why The Filibuster Must Go


If our democracy is to survive, the filibuster must end now.

Since 1841, the filibuster has been used by the minority party to subvert the power of the majority party to govern. The U.S. Constitution requires a simple majority vote in both houses of Congress to pass legislation, with a few rare exceptions: impeachments, expulsion of members, overriding a presidential veto, ratification of treaties, and constitutional amendments.

The framers would be dumbfounded by the present norm, where the minority party can require a supermajority vote hundreds of times in a legislative session.

Historically, the filibuster was used to block popular legislation that would have benefited society as a whole, including when Southern politicians defeated Reconstruction legislation after the Civil War. In later years, they obstructed bills which would protect the voting rights of Black Americans, as well as anti-lynching, fair employment, voting rights, and other critical civil rights protections.

Currently, the filibuster rule is being used to prevent Raising the federal minimum wage to $15/hour; Passage of all provisions of H.R. 1 / S. 1, the For the People Act; and Full restoration of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

These pieces of legislation would strengthen our democracy by protecting the constitutional guarantee of the right to vote…Read more.

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