Establishment media have hurled racism charges against the filibuster, labeled an offensive "relic of Jim Crow," while Senate Democrats used the procedural measure to block Republican Sen. Tim Scott's police reform bill.
The black senator described the blocking of the Justice Act killed by Democrats last year as "pure race politics at its worst." The GOP's political adversaries did not want the Republicans to achieve victory on "another serious issue confronting the minority communities," Scott said to Fox & Friends in June 2020.
Vice President Kamala Harris, then-senator of California, denounced the proposal as "not salvageable," arguing that the bill cannot be amended, which now-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had stressed could be allowed if Democrats were willing to push the package. Scott had suggested incentivizing police departments to ban chokeholds, but not mandating that the practice be abolished.
The bill also would not remove qualified immunity, the doctrine that shields law enforcement officers from personal liability. Harris told The Hill that Scott's bill "doesn't meet the moment," after playing phone tag and trading voicemails.
Amid the riots in Minneapolis that erupted over the weekend, Spectator USA contributor Stephen Miller questioned on Twitter late Monday night into Tuesday morning why the mainstream media has never exposed the liberal hypocrisy.
The left's recent calls to end the use of the filibuster have heightened since Democrats have taken the majority in Congress, aiming to advance the left-wing party's liberal legislative agenda without much contest.
Critics have linked the filibuster to Jim Crow-era segregation, reframing the move to abolish the 60-vote hurdle as the fight to protect civil rights and follow through on promises elected Democrats made to minority voters who helped pave the way to the White House and control of the Senate.
At the funeral of civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, former President Barack Obama opened the door to ending the filibuster in July 2020 when he advocated for federal voting rights legislation. "Let's honor him by revitalizing the law that he was willing to die for," Obama said of the "John Lewis Voting Rights Act."
"And if all this takes eliminating the filibuster—another Jim Crow relic — in order to secure the God-given rights of every American, then that's what we should do," the 44th president added. Obama's phrase, "Jim Crow relic," has been adopted by social justice activists, leftist journalists, and Democratic officeholders.
At the March 25 press conference, current President Joe Biden agreed when asked by CNN's chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins: "Let's figure out how we can get this done and move in the direction of significantly changing the abuse of even the filibuster rule first. It's been abused from the time it came into being—by an extreme way in the last 20 years. Let's deal with the abuse first."
In an interview with Axios, progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren alleged March 18 that the filibuster has "deep roots in racism" and "should not be permitted to serve that function" or allow the minority to veto. "In a democracy, it's majority rules."
Speaking on the Senate floor, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse pointed out on March 23 that the filibuster is often used to resist the 51-50 vote, "strict majoritarian exercise in power," but now an exclusive "relic of slavery" and "tool of Jim Crow."
"But it isn't what was happening, so stop with the nonsense rhetoric that's just for an MSNBC soundbite tonight," Sasse stated at the time, warning that the end of the filibuster would also "be the end of the Senate," an institution that takes time and requires compromise to reach long-term answers to complex issues.
The debate has focused on the utilization of majority power to crush the opposition. The future of the nation's bicameral legislature and the balance of power created by the founding father relies on this partisan discourse.
The filibuster is central to achieving consensus despite political division. Shoving legislation down the throats of the minority by an unheard narrow margin or by one single vote spawns distrust and hostility in Congress and among constituents.