The apparent overturning of a key Supreme Court case from 50 years ago is fueling a blazing fire in the Senate and beyond. And while it’s got something to do with Roe v. Wade being potentially overturned, it has more to do with the filibuster in the Senate staying or being removed.
First of all, a quick reminder. The filibuster has been in place since 1806. It wasn’t a part of the Founding Fathers’ original design of the government. But early lawmakers realized that the makeup of the Senate was markedly different from that of the House. So, they created a way to slow things down and deliberate the ideas a little longer. They created the filibuster, which basically said that anyone can stand on the Senate floor and talk for as long as they want. If, by chance, they talked until a quorum wasn’t available, then the topic they were debating would be called for a vote, and it would die for lack of a quorum. It was rarely used and made headlines when it was used for the first 200 years or so. Then in the 1970’s the rules were simplified. Instead of having a Senator speak for 24 hours (which is still available today), if a filibuster was threatened, they’d just move on to other business. Nowadays, if a bill doesn’t have 60 votes, they don’t even try to get it passed unless they want to show the world who is voting for and against something.
OK, with that in mind, the Democrats are calling for a filibuster removal so that they can “codify Roe v. Wade” in law. That means they would pass a federal law that would make sure that abortion was legal in all 50 states. However, according to what I’ve read in the leaked ruling that is coming out next month, that probably wouldn’t fly either. It wasn’t the legality of abortions that was in question in the Mississippi case the court was hearing. It was more of a states’ rights issue. It sounded like abortion could still be legal where you live if your state decided it to be a good thing. Therefore, if the federal government decided to “codify” the law, it would still violate the 10th Amendment, and would most likely end up back in the Supreme Court, where it would get batted down.
But what the Democrats fail to understand is that the filibuster move may hurt them more than it helps them. Filibusters help the minority party, and hurt the majority party. And while a filibuster in codifying Roe would in the short term, help the Democrats, in the long run it will kill them. If they were to lose control of the Senate in November, starting next January, they wouldn’t have any filibuster in place to protect them against anything the Republicans wanted to do. It would be what I call the “Harry Reid fiasco” all over again.
Reid went nuclear when he couldn’t get Bobo Obama’s federal judge picks confirmed, so rather than tell Bobo to get somebody less socialist, he did away with the need for 60 votes for all presidential appointees except Supreme Court Justices. That helped out Obama, but it also helped Republicans more. When they got into power, they expanded the Reid fiasco to include the Supreme Court nominees. And that’s how we got a 6-3 conservative court. Had Reid never pulled that trigger, the high court would be a LOT less conservative.
The word to Democrats is caution. Be careful what you wish for today, because as we’ve seen in the past, it can bite you in the butt tomorrow!
Carry on world….you’re dismissed!