WASHINGTON — Amid a tidal wave of political controversy following the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion, Democrats and progressives are calling for the Senate to nix the filibuster in order to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law.
Politico broke the news Monday that the Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark decision, reporting that Justice Samuel Alito had written a draft that is an “unflinching repudiation” of Roe v. Wade.
The draft majority opinion, which is not final, says Roe v. Wade was egregiously wrong. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito reportedly wrote. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
If Roe is overturned, the power to decide whether abortions are allowed would be turned over to the states — and many Republican states have already passed trigger legislation banning abortion.
Frantic to protect abortion access, Democrats are now pushing to eliminate the filibuster, Axios reported Tuesday, noting that anxieties over abortion may drive more Democrats to the polls ahead of the midterm elections.
Democrat Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have not consented to calls to eliminate the filibuster. In the 50-50 Senate chamber, Democrats need to get at least 60 votes to nix the filibuster and pass legislation codifying Roe.
According to Axios, Manchin blocked the progressive Women’s Health Protection Act with Republicans last month and is committed to protecting the filibuster.
If he were to change his mind, he would be siding with the most progressive members of the Democratic Party, like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a progressive independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also called for the end of the filibuster late Monday evening.
End the filibuster. Codify #RoeVWade with a national law protecting abortion rights. Expand the Supreme Court. Stop this horrifying injustice in its tracks.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 3, 2022
People elected Democrats precisely so we could lead in perilous moments like these- to codify Roe, hold corruption accountable, & have a President who uses his legal authority to break through Congressional gridlock on items from student debt to climate.
It’s high time we do it.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 3, 2022
“Why haven’t we prioritized this? We’ve had almost 50 years to codify this into law,” Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate and state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski told Axios late Monday evening in front of the Supreme Court. “The Senate just needs to like get rid of the filibuster and then get this done.”
Godlewski also tweeted: “Democrats need to act NOW—end the filibuster, codify Roe, and defend reproductive freedom. his fight is too urgent.”
Pennsylvania’s Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman warned that his party “cannot afford to wait,” tweeting, “Democrats have to act quickly — get rid of the filibuster to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act + finally codify Roe into law.”
Let's be clear: The right to an abortion is sacred.
Democrats have to act quickly – get rid of the filibuster to pass the Women's Health Protection Act + finally codify Roe into law.
We cannot afford to wait.
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) May 3, 2022
Ohio Democratic senatorial candidate Tim Ryan also said that “control of the Senate has never been more important.”
“It’s time to end the filibuster, pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, and fight like hell to make sure all Ohio families are free to make these critical decisions without interference from politicians in Columbus or Washington,” Ryan said.
And the Democratic National Committee predicted, “Make no mistake: reproductive rights will be on the ballot and this midterm election is more important now than ever before.”
The Supreme Court has upheld precedent and protected access to abortion for decades. Now, due to extremist Republicans and conservative justices on the court, Roe could be overturned.
We will fight back. Republicans must answer for their relentless attacks on Americans’ rights.
— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) May 3, 2022
“Get rid of the filibuster and protect Americans’ right to an abortion. Not ready? Get the hell out of the way,” tweeted Democratic senatorial candidate from Missouri Lucas Kunce.