Jim Clyburn Urges Filibuster 'Carveout' for Laws Protecting Constitutional Rights Like Voting

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn is urging President Joe Biden to amend the U.S. Senate filibuster in order to carve out laws that are directly tied to constitutionally protected rights, including voting.

Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat and one of Biden's top congressional allies, told Politico in a story published Saturday that the current voting rights protection bill will only pass if Senate rules are changed to allow a 51-vote majority on the For the People Act of 2021.

Echoing the vehement demands of top congressional Democrats, Clyburn said it's finally time for the White House to get aggressive in order to protect Americans' right to vote. He said Biden could easily convince Democrat moderates like West Virginia Senator Joe Machin to get behind a tailored "carveout," which would only change the filibuster toward legislation directly tied to constitutional rights.

"Pick up the phone and tell Joe Manchin, 'Hey, we should do a carveout.' I don't care whether he does it in a microphone or on the telephone — just do it," Clyburn said to Politico.

Biden has so far publicly expressed little interest in changing the legislative filibuster in order to pass Democrats' massive election reform bill as well as a second piece of legislation that reauthorizes sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But Clyburn said Biden "should endorse" a legislative carveout immediately, particularly after a recent 6-3 Supreme Court ruling that upheld GOP-backed voter restriction laws in Arizona.

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden's upcoming Tuesday speech in Philadelphia is set to address voting rights as a "moral obligation," rather than a simple legislative consideration.

Clyburn also told Politico that he tried talking with Manchin last month as the Democratic senator and crucial swing vote was proposing changes to the the election reform bill. Clyburn said he told Manchin at the time: "I'm not asking you to eliminate the filibuster ... But what I'm saying to you is that nobody ought to have the right to filibuster my constitutional rights."

Some top Democrats, including Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, have likened state-by-state GOP voter suppression bills to aggressive forms of "white supremacy." Casey said Republicans across the country are are creating more hurdles for mail-in voting or early voting under the guise of "phantom voter fraud."

Harvard University law professor and constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe appeared to agree with Clyburn's tactic to circumvent Senate Republicans, tweeting Saturday: "This is the solution: Enact a carveout for laws protecting constitutional rights."

Meanwhile, dozens of states have recently passed GOP-backed voter suppression laws that are being pushed through state legislatures almost purely on party-line Republican votes. The six Supreme Court justices who recently upheld the Arizona voter restrictions were all appointed by a Republican Party president.

Newsweek reached out to Clyburn's office Saturday for any additional remarks about the filibuster.

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House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn is urging President Joe Biden to amend the U.S. Senate filibuster in order to carve out laws that are directly tied to constitutionally protected rights. In this photo, then-Democratic presidential candidate Biden embraces Clyburn as he announces his endorsement for Biden at Trident Technical College February 26, 2020 in North Charleston, South Carolina. DREW ANGERER / Staff/Getty Images