Jun 29, 2022 - Politics

Warren, Markey push for ending filibuster

Sen. Elizabeth Warren with Rep. Stephen Lynch, City Council President Ed Flynn, Mayor Michelle Wu and Sen. Ed Markey in Dorchester Tuesday.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren with Rep. Stephen Lynch, City Council President Ed Flynn, Mayor Michelle Wu and Sen. Ed Markey in Dorchester Tuesday. Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey say the Senate must eliminate the filibuster so that the Democratic majority can pass laws to protect civil rights targeted by the Supreme Court.

Driving the news: The pair told a crowd in Dorchester Tuesday that Congress needs to take steps to protect civil liberties and other rights before the conservative-dominated high court negates any further long-standing legal precedent in the wake of its reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Why it matters: The court's recent decision has liberals worried the conservatives on the bench may remove other unenumerated rights, such as same-sex marriage and contraceptives, or undermine the authority of environmental regulators to fight climate change.

What they're saying: "We have an out-of-control Supreme Court. They have torched their own credibility and climate is just the next item up where this court may prove that it's not about law, it's about politics," Warren said, referring to a case brought to the court by West Virginia seeking to curb the EPA's authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Markey and Warren say the best way to prevent the court from reframing long-standing rights is to codify them into federal law.

Reality check: Eliminating the filibuster, which would allow the slim Democratic majority in the Senate to more easily push legislation onto the House and President Biden's desk before the next election, remains unlikely.

  • Two key senators, Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), have said they will not vote with other Democrats to allow easier passage of legislation.

Meanwhile, Rep. Stephen Lynch is concerned that the court's suggestion that there is no right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution will lead to more cases in which medical rights, online data privacy and personal information is left undefended.

  • "If privacy has to be mentioned in the Constitution, or had to be articulated back in 1868 as something being extended to all citizens of the country, then I think we're in for a rough patch here," Lynch told Axios.

Of note: The three were at Dorchester's Harborwalk on Tuesday to announce more than $16 million in federal funding for a project to protect Moakley Park and the surrounding public housing communities from flooding brought on by climate change.

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