WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Wednesday, he is not leaning either way on the nomination of U.S. District Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court.
On MetroNews “Talkline,” Manchin called Kavanaugh “a very fine person of high moral standards” with a lot of career judicial opinions to review.
“He has the all the right qualities. He’s well-educated and, with that, we have to just look at making sure that the rule of law and the Constitution is going to be followed and that’s going to basically preempt anything else he does,” Manchin said.
“Most importantly, I intend to hear from West Virginians.”
Manchin was one of three Democrats to vote for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s first U.S. Supreme Court nominee, who was confirmed with a 54-45 vote.
“After considering his record, watching his testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee and meeting with him twice, I will vote to confirm him,” Manchin said of Gorsuch at that time.
Manchin was expecting the same general process to be followed for his consideration of Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“I intend to have two meetings with him — one before his hearing, one after his hearing — and then make my decision based on that,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what (U.S. Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says. It doesn’t matter what (U.S. Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate, said Tuesday he believed Manchin would ultimately support Kavanaugh for “political survival.”
If confirmed, Kavanaugh will replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy who retires at the end of this month.