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Good morning. Voting rights or the filibuster? Democrats will probably have to choose.
trying to make voting more difficult, mostly because they believe that lower voter turnout helps their party win elections. (They say it’s to stop voter fraud, but widespread fraud doesn’t exist.) The Supreme Court, with six Republican appointees among the nine justices, has generally allowed those restrictions to stand.
“I don’t say this lightly,” Michael McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida, recently wrote. “We are witnessing the greatest roll back of voting rights in this country since the Jim Crow era.”
‘Their best opportunity’
The only meaningful way for Democrats to respond is through federal legislation, like the voting-rights bill that the House passed on Wednesday. Among other things, it would require states to register many eligible voters automatically; allow others to register on Election Day; hold at least 15 days of early voting; expand voting by mail; and allow people with completed criminal sentences to vote. The bill also requires more disclosure of campaign donations and restricts partisan gerrymandering.
to scrap or alter the filibuster, as they have the power to do.
“Proponents of eliminating the filibuster have said all along that their best opportunity to do so would come on a civil-rights bill, and this is the modern version,” Carl Hulse, The Times’s chief Washington correspondent, told me.
As Carl explained: “They intend to ratchet up the pressure on Democratic holdouts to overturning the filibuster by saying Republicans are using undemocratic means to hold up urgent protections for our democratic system. The votes still aren’t there, but opponents of the filibuster believe they are gaining ground.”
The swing votes include Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, two of the most moderate Democratic senators, who have both expressed support for the filibuster.