If the effort by progressives to terminate the filibuster succeeds—and Joe Biden’s evolving statements on the issue are a sign they are having some influence—another defense against radicalism will fall. Our constitutional liberties will lose another layer of protection. If that day comes, state attorneys general will stand as one of the last remaining protectors of our liberties and defenders of the law.
Our Founding Fathers designed the Constitution precisely to make it difficult to implement instantaneous revolutionary change. They worried that political factions might work together to oppress those with whom they disagree, and so they created separate branches of government—bicameralism, a federalist system, the Electoral College—and a political terrain that would incorporate a large sphere of interests that would constantly fight over, but never dominate, power.
Today, many progressives are attacking the institutions that prevent them from easily obtaining their desired outcomes. They have seriously proposed court packing to take over the Supreme Court, making Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico states so they can increase the number of Democratic senators, and getting rid of the Electoral College. It’s all about getting and keeping power.
No wonder the Senate filibuster also is under attack. It is an important tool for ensuring that legislation is measured, bipartisan, and constitutional. In other words, it can—and would be—used to pump the brakes on impassioned and imprudent legislation.