Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) was censured by the Arizona Democratic Party Saturday, three days after she voted not to change Senate filibuster rules, crushing Democrats’ hopes of passing voting rights legislation.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) attends a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee … [+] on Capitol Hill on October 06, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

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Key Facts

Arizona state Sen. Raquel Teran (D), the chair of the state party, said in a statement, “While we take no pleasure” in announcing the decision to formally censure Sinema, party leaders voted to do so “as a result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy.”

The state party’s executive board voted unanimously to censure the Democratic senator, NBC News reported.

Key Background

The state party’s meeting came three days after Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) sided with Republicans and voted to uphold the Senate’s filibuster rules. Wednesday, Sinema rejected the rules change President Joe Biden and Democrats’ had sought to close the debate on the voting rights bill with a simple majority instead of having to meet the normal 60-vote threshold. Though Sinema supports the voting rights bill, she said last week on the Senate floor that changing the filibuster would only cause further division in the country. The Freedom to Vote Act, which was designed to counter a Republican drive to restrict ballot access at the state level in the wake of the 2020 election, would create nationwide minimum standards for early and mail-in voting and make Election Day a holiday.


Two influential women’s rights groups—Emily’s List and NARAL Pro-Choice America—pulled their endorsement of Sinema after Wednesday’s vote.

Further Reading

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema formally censured by Arizona Democratic Party (ABC News)

Senate Democrats Fail To Advance Voting Rights Bill — And Fall Short Of Changing Filibuster (Forbes)

Sinema Won’t Support Eliminating Filibuster—Effectively Killing Democrats’ Voting Rights Bill (Forbes)

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