Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is already reviled by many in his party. Now they’ll have reason to dislike him even more. Manchin has announced that under no circumstances will he allow Joe Biden to have a Supreme Court nominee for any potential additional openings on the court between now and the mid-term election. That’s not to imply that Manchin will impede the confirmation process for Biden’s imminent nominee, but any further nominees will be forced to wait for what could very likely be a GOP-led Senate. Hot Air reports:
Manchin: If there’s another SCOTUS vacancy close to the midterms, I won’t allow it to be filled.
I spent an entertaining 20 minutes on social media this afternoon watching liberals have conniptions in response to this comment.
He infuriated them by tanking Build Back Better. He made mortal enemies of them by refusing to change the filibuster to pass voting-rights legislation.
If he denied them a Supreme Court seat — particularly an opportunity to replace a conservative on the Court — I think they’d sink his house boat.
Manchin tells reporters of a hypothetical SCOTUS vacancy close to an election: “I’m not going to be hypocritical on that. If it would come a week or two weeks before like it did with our last Supreme Court nominee, I think that’s the time it should go to the next election”
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) February 14, 2022
What does Manchin mean when he says he doesn’t want to be hypocritical? Well, despite his habit of supporting Republican SCOTUS nominees, he voted no on Amy Coney Barrett in 2020. The reason? Timing:
“Today the Senate took unprecedented action never before seen in the 240 year history of our country, but it didn’t have to be this way. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans chose a dangerous, partisan path to push through the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett eight days before this year’s November 3rd election further politicizing the highest court in the land. The facts are clear—never before has the president nominated and the Senate confirmed a Supreme Court justice between July and Election Day in a presidential election year.
“This degradation of Senate norms and procedures didn’t start with the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and it won’t end here. The U.S. Senate is supposed to be the greatest deliberative body in the world and perhaps we used to be. But each time a Senate majority – regardless of party – changes the rules, we reduce the incentive to work together across party lines. Instead, the partisan governing of the last ten years and the rushed nomination of Judge Barrett only fans the flames of division at a time when Americans are deeply divided. Judge Barrett’s nomination and the confirmation process are far from business as usual. I cannot support the nomination of Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States on the eve of a Presidential election. It is simple – this nomination should have waited until after the election.”It may be true that no justices have been confirmed after July in a presidential election year. (I’ll take Manchin’s word for it.) But there have been justices confirmed after July in a midterm election year. Why, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed in October 2018.
And among the senators who voted for Kavanaugh was … Joe Manchin.
I will vote to support Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. pic.twitter.com/1FfuMTOZz8
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) October 5, 2018
“The Manchin Rule: In the interests of preserving bipartisan norms, only one party is permitted to appoint SCOTUS justices right before elections,” tweeted annoyed Democrat Greg Sargent. Dave Weigel blames Democrats themselves for misplaying the Kavanaugh confirmation, painting themselves into a strategic corner in case a second vacancy does open on the Court later this year:
Manchin *voted for Kavanaugh* but Ds pounded “not so close to an election” and made that the new standard – even though they’ll likely never get to take advantage of it. (Next chance would be 2028, if Rs win presidency in 2024 and Ds win Senate in 2026.)
— David Weigel (@daveweigel) February 14, 2022
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