Speaking at the end of his time at this week’s NATO summit, President Joe Biden floated the idea of a filibuster exception in order to codify Roe v. Wade. Thursday’s comments came less than a week after the Supreme Court issued a ruling overturning Roe.
“I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law. And the way to do that is to make sure the Congress votes to do that,” President Biden said. “If the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights. It should be…requiring an exception to the filibuster for this action to deal with the Supreme Court decision.”
As President Biden mentioned, he supported filibuster reform in the hopes of pushing forward previously-stalled voting legislation earlier this year. That effort ended up failing. Although Democrats control the Senate, there wasn’t enough support within their caucus to change the filibuster rule. At least two Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), don’t support changing filibuster rules.
Thursday’s news conference where Biden endorsed a filibuster exception became the latest opportunity for him to criticize the Supreme Court decision on Roe.
“The one thing that has been destabilizing is the outrageous behavior of the Supreme Court of the United States on overruling not only Roe v. Wade, but essentially challenging the right to privacy,” Biden said. “We’ve been a leader in the world in terms of personal rights and privacy rights, and it is a mistake, in my view, for the Supreme Court to do what it did.”
The overturning of Roe was one of the last Supreme Court decisions made with Justice Stephen Breyer on the bench. The Court’s last decisions of the current term were made public Thursday, with Breyer officially retiring at noon EST.
His replacement, Ketanji Brown Jackson, was sworn in minutes later, making her the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.