WASHINGTON, D.C., October 20, 2021 – Today Senate Republicans used the filibuster to block the Freedom To Vote Act from advancing to debate. The bill, Sen. Joe Manchin’s compromise voting rights legislation, failed to receive the 60 votes necessary to proceed. The bill includes essential protections to ensure all people can easily access the polls, including automatic voter registration, early voting, making Election Day a holiday, voting by mail, and more.
The Freedom to Vote Act is just one of numerous democracy and civil rights legislative priorities currently being blocked by Republicans through their weaponization of the filibuster, including inquiries into the January 6th attempts to violently overturn the 2020 election results.
Alliance for Justice has long opposed the Senate filibuster. A relic of the Jim Crow era, the modern filibuster has frequently been used to block important civil rights legislation and to prevent majority rule on essential legislative priorities. When Senate Republicans used the filibuster to block President Obama’s administrative and judicial nominees, AFJ strongly advocated for abolishing the filibuster for all lower court and executive branch nominees. Today, AFJ continues to support urgently-needed filibuster reform to allow the Senate to vote on important bills like the Freedom To Vote Act.
Alliance for Justice President Rakim Brooks issued the following statement:
“This is a make-or-break moment for American democracy. We cannot allow Senate Republicans to block essential voting rights protections while state lawmakers across the United States are passing legislation designed to limit voting access. We need essential filibuster reform now so that the Congress can get on with the essential work or protecting our most sacred right: the right to vote.”