Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) is speaking out to oppose holding a confirmation vote on a Supreme Court nominee before the November 3 general election.
As Republicans appear poised to move forward with the confirmation process on President Donald Trump’s forthcoming Supreme Court nominee, Democrats say the process should wait until after the election.
In a statement on Monday, Manchin said, “For the sake of the integrity of our courts and legal system, I do not believe the U.S. Senate should vote on a U.S. Supreme Court nominee before the November, 3, election.”
“For Mitch McConnell and my Republican colleagues to rush through this process after refusing to even meet with Judge Merrick Garland in 2016 is hypocrisy in its highest form,” he added.
He also warned that “pursuing an overtly partisan approach to confirming a Supreme Court Justice will only deepen the political tribalism we are witnessing across this country.”
“I implore every Senator, regardless of party, to honor their responsibility to act in a manner that brings this country together rather than feed a cycle of endless political division,” he added.
Read his statement below:
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) opposes a vote on a Supreme Court nominee before the election. "For Mitch McConnell and my Republican colleagues to rush through this process after refusing to even meet with Judge Merrick Garland in 2016 is hypocrisy in its highest form." pic.twitter.com/2ggyXkJHCd— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 21, 2020
Manchin’s comments come amid a new political battle over whether lawmakers should move to fill the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat before the election.
Citing Republicans’ decision in 2016 to hold open a vacancy on the Supreme Court until after the election, Democrats have urged their colleagues to wait until after the 2020 election to hold a confirmation vote.
It’s unclear if Republicans will have enough votes to confirm a nominee before the election. Currently, they hold a 53-47 seat majority in the Senate.
So far, two Republican senators have voiced their opposition to holding a confirmation vote before the election, meaning Republicans can only afford to lose one more vote to confirm a nominee and have Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote.
Otherwise, they would need Democratic support to confirm the nominee.