Vox, March 25, 2021, The filibuster’s racist history, explained
The question of what to do about the filibuster — the once-arcane Senate rule that creates a de facto 60-vote threshold for major legislation — is arguably the most important topic in Washington, DC, right now. It is the main thing blocking Senate Democrats from approving President Joe Biden’s sweeping policy agenda on party lines; as such, it has become a subject of fierce partisan (and intraparty) dispute.
Most recently, this debate has centered on racism in the filibuster’s history.
Prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), have argued that the filibuster has been a tool used by racists to protect white supremacy. In a Tuesday floor speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell denied this entirely — accusing Democrats of lying about history for political purposes.
“These talking points are an effort to use the terrible history of racism to justify a partisan power grab in the present,” McConnell said.