The Daily Beast

Democrats Can Save Voting by Bringing Back the Mr. Smith Filibuster

Herbert Dorfman

After the failure of three historic voting rights bills, Senate Democrats face a critical question: Will they finally do something about the filibuster?

For months, much of the press has wrongly covered the issue as a binary choice: end the filibuster or keep it. Elimination has never been a realistic option. A handful of Democratic senators have made it clear they won’t get rid of it altogether, for fear of what would happen when the shoe is on the other—Republican—foot.

But keeping the filibuster intact is no longer tenable, either. As Joe Manchin learned last month when no Republicans backed the voting rights bill he co-authored, federal action to override new state-level voter suppression is impossible under current Senate rules.

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