For Immediate Release

Press Contact

June 2, 2021

Just Democracy Responds to Sen. Sinema’s Comments on the Filibuster

 Sen. Sinema falsely calls the filibuster a tool to “protect the democracy of our nation” 

Washington — Today, speaking alongside Sen. John Cornyn in Texas, where the state legislature is attempting to pass the most restrictive voter suppression regime in the country, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema made false comments calling the filibuster a tool to “protect the democracy of our nation.” Her comments come just days after a Republican filibuster defeated a bill to establish a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Senate floor. Sen. Cornyn participated in the filibuster, while Sen. Sinema did not vote at all.

In an account from the Arizona Republic, Sen. Sinema “reiterated her position that the filibuster is a tool that "protects the democracy of our nation" and is meant to create comity and encourage senators from both parties to work together. "To those who say that we must make a choice between the filibuster and 'X,' I say, this is a false choice," she said. "The reality is that when you have a system that is not working effectively — and I would think that most would agree that the Senate is not a particularly well-oiled machine, right? The way to fix that is to fix your behavior, not to eliminate the rules or change the rules, but to change the behavior," Sen. Sinema added.

In response to these comments, Rev. Dr. Stephany Spaulding, Founder of Truth and Conciliation and Coalition Member of Just Democracy issued the following statement:

“If Senator Sinema’s hero, the late Rep. John Lewis, were to follow her advice and not fight to ‘change the rules,’ a generation of Americans might not have taken to the streets to secure the right to vote for Black Americans. Now, as we fight to save our democracy, we hope Sen. Sinema will stand on the right side of history, and not with the Jim Crow filibuster.

Senator Sinema’s comments today make clear that she will prioritize working alongside those like Senator Cornyn who refused to support a bipartisan, independent investigation into the January 6 insurrection over protecting voting rights, ending police violence against Black and Brown communities, and creating a more just democracy. She is absolutely making a choice between the future of our democracy and the filibuster, and failing to realize that choice is an abdication of her duty to the constituents who elected her.”

About Just Democracy

Just Democracy is an intersectional coalition with racial justice at its core — uplifting voices from all walks of American life that are too often left out of the conversation. The coalition is made up of over 40 Black and Brown-led organizations working across issue areas. It mobilizes thousands who know that advancing social and racial justice issues first requires bold structural democracy reform.

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