Following the explosive decision from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to overturn the fiercely controversial abortion ruling in Roe v Wade, Democratic Party leaders, including Biden himself, have been scrambling to find a way to legalize abortions nationwide.
Realizing that he is effectively powerless, Biden has turned to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and fellow Democrats in Congress to carve out a solution that would codify Roe. Yet such plans appear to have already fallen at the first hurdle in the form of the Senate filibuster.
Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — Democratic senators for West Virginia and Arizona, respectively — continue to maintain their principled stance against abolishing the filibuster. This is despite the fact both of them would likely support bills defending the right to abortion and other major pieces of the Democrat’s legislative agenda.
Democrats have begged the two lawmakers to try and carve out an “exception” to the filibuster rule, although the pair remain steadfast. Yet a spokesman for Manchin and an aide to Sinema confirmed to Reuters on Thursday that their respective positions had not changed.
The reason neither Manchin nor Sinema will agree to abolish or make an exception to the filibuster rule is not that they side with Republicans on major issues such as abortion. It is because they recognize that passing aggressive and controversial pieces of legislation on razor-thin majorities goes against the very principles of checks and balances that America was founded upon.
"*" indicates required fields
After doing away with the filibuster, Democrats would inevitably move to pack the courts and pass “voting rights” legislation that would consolidate their power for a generation. Should this come to pass, the country could begin to fall apart.
In sticking to their principles, Manchin and Sinema are proving themselves to be the last bastions of principle in the Democratic Party. Republicans may be thanking them now, but one day, when the tables are turned, it will be the current advocates of doing away with the filibuster thanking them the most profusely.
This article originally appeared in El American’s newsletter on July 3, 2022. Subscribe for free here!