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‘Martin Luther King Jr. Knew Filibusters’

Ed Sills
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Voting Rights Blockade a Reminder of Obstacles MLK Faced

Texas Senate Plays It Differently

  Ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Texas AFL-CIO called again for restoration of federal voting rights laws amid a wall of opposition eerily similar in character but markedly different in detail to what Dr. King faced.

  “Martin Luther King Jr. knew filibusters,” Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said. “Until the final years of his amazing life, the filibuster stood in the way of civil rights, voting rights and other legislation aimed at achieving a measure of racial justice. Nearly 60 years later, the filibuster is as broken as it has ever been, and now it is used to prevent not only voting rights legislation, but other critical measures that lift up working people such as the PRO Act.” 

“As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the ongoing quest for racial justice, barriers to progress remain entrenched, but the Texas AFL-CIO will never give up on the struggle. We take pride in knowing that Dr. King believed to the core of his being in a life-changing movement that encourages working people to speak up together for better workplaces. No matter how the rules are rigged, the partnership between labor unions and the civil rights movement is vital to the quest for a better Texas.”

  “As a side note, we pause to reflect on the hypocrisy of Republicans like Dan Patrick who cynically encouraged changing the rules in the Texas Senate from the two-thirds rule to three-fifths, then to five-ninths – because, and only because, Democrats had won enough seats to change the math. In light of the games played to skew recent U.S. Supreme Court confirmations, does anyone seriously believe Republicans consider the filibuster to be sacred or that they won’t change the rules in Washington, D.C. again when opportunity knocks?”

“On this MLK day, it is high time for all Democrats to join the fight to eliminate the filibuster and go all in on saving our democracy.”

    The Texas AFL-CIO is the state labor federation consisting of 240,000 affiliated union members who advocate for working families in Texas.