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U.S. Supreme Court abortion move sparks calls for ending Senate's filibuster

World May 04, 2022 07:11AM ET
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© Reuters. Pro-abortion demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the leak of a draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito preparing for a majority of the court to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision later this yea

By Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A draft opinion suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court was ready to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing the right to abortion sparked a fresh call among progressive Democrats to scrap the Senate's filibuster rule.

"Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW. And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes," Independent Senator Bernie Sanders said on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

Since the start of President Joe Biden's administration, Democrats have wrestled with repealing or modifying the long-held filibuster rule requiring at least 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to advance most legislation, as a way to get around their razor-thin majorities.

The move so far has been a political nonstarter and could backfire on Democrats as Republicans have a shot at winning majority control of the Senate in the Nov. 8 elections. Repealing the filibuster now could give Republicans a sure path to imposing new limits on abortion the next they control Congress and the White House.

Sanders was not alone in calling for an end to the filibuster, which Republicans have used to block major Biden initiatives, including his push for unprecedented government investments to rein-in climate change and provide new healthcare benefits to young families and the elderly.

"It’s high time we do it," chimed in Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter.

Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and pro-choice politicians and organizations such as NARAL, face tough odds in loosening the grip of the Senate filibuster.

Last January, Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema joined forces with all 50 Republican senators against setting aside the filibuster so that voting rights reforms could pass the Senate.

On Tuesday, Manchin, who has opposed abortion rights, showed no sign of easing his opposition to a rules change to overcome the Supreme Court decision and legalize abortion through legislation.

"The filibuster is the only protection we have in a democracy" against a majority of senators steamrolling the minority, Manchin told reporters.

Last year, Sinema, a co-sponsor of legislation protecting abortion services, argued in a Washington Post opinion piece that filibusters foster "moderation." Neither she nor an aide were immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

But without Manchin and Sinema, Democrats see no pathway in the current Senate toward altering the filibuster and passing abortion legislation.

No. 2 Senate Democrat Dick Durbin, who is in charge of counting votes on controversial matters, said as much on Tuesday.

Asked by Reuters whether he saw any avenue for another attempt at changing the filibuster rule, Durbin said, "After I speak to two senators I'll tell you." He did not mention Manchin and Sinema by name.

U.S. Supreme Court abortion move sparks calls for ending Senate's filibuster
 

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Comments (6)
gab nea
gab nea May 05, 2022 7:45AM ET
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why do republicans find it easy to attack women's reproductive right and freedom autonomy?
gab nea
gab nea May 05, 2022 7:29AM ET
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it's not all about the women. it is men's ******that causes pregnancies. in the case of unwanted children for any reason, where do the inseminator men go? no responsibility for the *** no lifelong child care, no compensation, nothing , the coward man runs away and leaves the woman helpless. that's fairness to the republicans!
gab nea
gab nea May 05, 2022 7:29AM ET
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it is men's ****** no responsibility for the inseminator.
gab nea
gab nea May 05, 2022 7:29AM ET
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it is men's acts, no responsibility for the inseminator.
Forex Harbingers
ForexHarbingers May 05, 2022 7:29AM ET
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Soooooo, the woman isnt at fault for making the decision to open her legs as well? At least we know now, it was never about choice, and just the ability have a back up for continued bad decisions. I do support a r-pe, in-est, health complicated types, however that is less than 5% of ALL abortions. It is just as much the woman's fault as the mans. People need to start taking responsibility for their actions and make better decisions.
Joe Ramella
Joe Ramella May 05, 2022 1:17AM ET
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Never gonna happen. Its called checks and balances…counterbalancing influences by which an organization or system is regulated, typically those ensuring that political power is not concentrated in the hands of individuals or groups.
gab nea
gab nea May 04, 2022 7:28AM ET
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the men who inseminate women who do not want to rear kids, should they be asked legally for consent? what about states where ******is denied , should the inseminate be held responsible for the cost and care of the offspring? should the state bear the cost of rearing that child by ******** for they did not protect women from ******** why not ?
gab nea
gab nea May 04, 2022 7:21AM ET
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mitch padded the court with liars and sycophants not to mention wives. it is now a republican leaning stacked court , brought to you by moscow mitch.
gab nea
gab nea May 04, 2022 7:19AM ET
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anything to stabilize this radical right leaning court now.
 
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