Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was mocked on social media Wednesday after she claimed a bill to codify abortion was the result of a minority ruling the majority.
The Senate failed to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act by a 51-to-49 vote. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who voted with the Republican Party, explained he would not support the bill because it went beyond simply codifying abortion into federal law. According to Manchin, the bill would effectively overturn hundreds of state laws.
What did Warren say?
After the bill was defeated, Warren claimed the Senate filibuster must be eliminated. Her reason? Because the vote demonstrated minority-rule.
“I believe in democracy, and I don’t believe the minority should have the ability to block things that the majority want to do. That’s not in the Constitution,” Warren told reporters.
“What we’re talking about right now are the individual rights and liberties of half the population of the United States of America. I think that’s enough to say, ‘It’s time to get rid of the filibuster,'” she added.
Later, Warren claimed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has “made clear” that Republicans “are coming after everybody.” This, of course, is not true, but a talking point that Democrats have repeated since the leak of an opinion draft indicated the Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion precedents.
In fact, Justice Samual Alito, who authored that draft, specifically said the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization would not be exploited to overturn other cases.
What was the reaction?
Warren’s claim that a minority is ruling over the majority was swiftly denounced because, in fact, a majority won when the Senate failed to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act to a full-floor vote.
“Um, a bipartisan MAJORITY of the Senate just voted down the Dems’ radical abortion bill.
51 is greater than 49, even using Harvard math.
You don’t get to call the losing side the majority just because you agree with it,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
“It went down 51-49, girl. Math!” political commentator Mary Katharine Ham said.
“We must not let the will of a 51-vote minority block the will of a 49-vote majority,” journalist Jim Antle mocked.
“I guess CRT math says 49 is greater then (sic) 51,” another person mocked.
“I mean… the filibuster didn’t even factor in. It lost 51-49. The majority literally did what it wanted to do: kill the bill,” radio host Jason Rantz said.
“Someone needs to explain to @SenWarren that 51 is greater than 49,” Republican strategist Matt Whitlock observed.
“Hmmm 51 votes is a majority isn’t it? I know that we lawyers have a reputation for being bad at math, but even I know that the 51 Senators voted against the bill which are more than the 49 who voted for it,” another person said.
“The vote was 51 to 49… Sounds like she does not believe in Democracy,” another person noted.
Importantly, the bill was not defeated by a filibuster. With only 49 supporters, the Senate could not reach the cloture threshold (60 votes), which meant the bill was defeated without ever going to a full-floor vote.