Even After SCOTUS Leak, Manchin and Sinema Stand Firm on Filibuster

Even After SCOTUS Leak, Manchin and Sinema Stand Firm on Filibuster
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The filibuster will apparently live on for the time being, with Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) stating they have no plans to vote on ending the practice. Their decisions come down as the country is embroiled in controversy over the leaked Supreme Court opinion striking down Roe v Wade.

Without Manchin’s and Sinema’s votes, Democrats have no chance to nuke the filibuster. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Manchin said, “The filibuster is a protection of democracy.” And Sinema tweeted:

When Sinema refers to “protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care,” she’s referring to the filibuster. Leftists are not happy with the pair:

The filibuster is the Senate rule which, when invoked by one of its members, essentially requires a supermajority of 60 votes to pass legislation. Explains History.com:

A filibuster is a political strategy in which a senator speaks—or threatens to speak—for hours on end to delay efforts to vote for a bill. The unusual tactic takes advantage of a U.S. Senate rule that says a senator, once recognized on the floor, may speak on an issue without being impeded by anyone. While various rule changes have tempered the filibuster’s power over the past century, it still offers unique leverage to the minority political party in the Senate.

The filibuster has been under constant attack in recent years by the “Squad,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, and others–attacks that only intensified after the SCOTUS leak:

The filibuster has been integral to Republicans’ strategy in recent years, and even the threat of it helped derail the $1.9 trillion Build Back Better bill. It’s also stood in the way of the Left’s urgent desire to pack the courts, something they would probably immediately aim for should the filibuster be abolished.

The filibuster has been around since 1887 and has prevented hyper-partisans of both parties from cramming radical legislation down the throats of Americans. Its pop culture status was cemented when actor James Stewart appeared in the 1939 film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, where Stewart plays a young idealistic senator who talks for nearly 24 hours to delay a vote on a corrupt public works bill.

If Chuck Schumer and others succeed in getting it canned, they can overcome the 50–50 party split in the Senate and pass almost anything they want (with the help of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote). If that happens, expect court-packing, trillion-dollar spending bills, maybe more “Disinformation” Boards—who knows what would be on the table.

Thanks to Manchin and Sinema, the filibuster looks safe for now, and we can all breathe a little easier.

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