Center for American Progress

RELEASE: How the Racist History of the Filibuster Lives on Today
Press Release

RELEASE: How the Racist History of the Filibuster Lives on Today

Washington, D.C — Over the past two centuries, the filibuster has been abused repeatedly during some of the darkest periods of America’s history to prevent the passage of legislation that would protect the civil rights and voting rights of Black Americans.

A new issue brief from the Center for American Progress shows how this legacy is not just a relic of the past—it is alive and well today. It has been invoked to prevent the passage of critical voting rights legislation, including the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

This latest chapter in the filibuster’s history comes at a time when many states are enacting targeted measures to prevent historically disenfranchised communities from accessing the ballot box.

“The filibuster continues to be used to obstruct major legislation necessary to advance racial justice and voting rights in the United States,” said Greta Bedekovics, associate director of Democracy Policy at CAP and author of the report. “Taking steps to reform the filibuster will allow the Senate to be a truly deliberative body that legislates based on the will of the people.”

The report provides an overview of how the filibuster has historically been used to suppress the rights of Black and brown Americans and details recent voter suppression efforts. It also describes the Senate’s use of the filibuster, as well as the filibuster’s monumental influence on the legislative process today.

Also today, please tune in as a panel of experts moderated by former Alabama Senator Doug Jones, a distinguished senior fellow at CAP, will discuss the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and the role of the Senate filibuster in blocking important progress on civil rights and voting rights.

Read the issue brief:How the Racist History of the Filibuster Lives on Today” by Greta Bedekovics

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at [email protected].

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.