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Capito airs views on Biden Supreme Court nominee and Biden gas price and immigration policies with West Virginia press

MORGANTOWN – Sen. Shelley Moore Capito shared her views with the West Virginian press Thursday on President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee and on Biden moves on gas prices and immigration.

Capito said that after meeting with Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and watching her Senate hearings, “I have decided that I cannot vote for her nomination for the Supreme Court.

“We had a very great conversation,” Capito said, and she recognizes Jackson’s stature in the legal community.

But Jackson did not flesh out her judicial philosophy on the Constitution as it interacts with contempory life, Capito said, A justice needs some kind of core belief on that subject.

Also, Capito said, Jackson’s rulings in some cases, particularly on separation of powers, caused concern. Jackson appeared to base her rulings on her own political beliefs rather than the law, and those rulings were overturned by the D.C. appeals court, Capito said.

“There is no personal issue here,” Capito said. They had a very open conversation.

Sen. Joe Manchin also met with Jackson and said last Friday he will vote for her. “Her wide array of experiences in varying sectors of our judicial system have provided Judge Jackson a unique perspective that will serve her well on our nation’s highest court. During our meeting, she was warm and gracious. On top of her impressive resume, she has the temperament to make an exceptional jurist.”

Gas prices

President Biden on Friday announced several measures to combat what he called “Putin’s Price Hike,” including releasing 1 million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and speeding the transition to electric vehicles as a form of energy independence.

Capito discussed it in response to a question about the proposed West Virginia gas tax holiday. She said there is also talk of a federal holiday on the 18-cent tax, but that’s just a gimmick with no real-long-term effects. Federal gas taxes go toward essential highway projects.

Biden’s oil reserve plan, she said, is just a political move – a Band-Aid that doesn’t address the core problem that Biden created by discouraging domestic production and pipeline construction.

Depleting the strategic reserve, she said, also could cause problems should we encounter a true emergency that the reserve was created for.

Manchin said in a release that releasing oil from the strategic reserve will provide needed relief but isn’t a long-term answer. “The U.S. can produce energy cleaner than anywhere else in the world and it is important we have a balanced approach that supports increased domestic production that can get into the market in the coming weeks and months and that we establish a strategic plan to refill our reserves.”


Capito and Manchin both oppose Biden’s plan to end the Trump administration Title 42 policy by May 23. The policy was intended to stop the spread of COVID by permitting the Border Patrol to turn away arrested illegal immigrants and asylum seekers.

Capito said there’s chaos at the border already, with 7,000 people per day trying to cross and more waiting for Title 42 to end. “This will just unleash more people who have been waiting to come into the country.” The Border Patrol is one track to have 2 million cross this year – compared to just 100,000 Ukranian refugees.

“This administration has provided no deterrents for people to come to the border,” she said. “It is catch and release on steroids.” People are released with court dates five years away, or no date at all. And the influx poses safety, health and legal problems – such as crippling our ability to disrupt the flow of illegal drugs, she said.

She advocates for using Remain in Mexico more robustly, processing asylum claims quicker and keeping Title 42 as a mechanism.

Manchin wrote to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Tuesday urging her to extend Title 42 in light of the BA.2 omicron variant surge. Encounters with migrants escalated from 400,000 in 2020 to 1.7 million last year and a new record is expected this year.

“With encounters along our southern border surging and the highly transmissible omicron BA.2 subvariant emerging as the dominate strain in the United States, now is not the time to throw caution to the wind,” he wrote, “I urge you to again renew this commonsense policy that has been in effect — under both Republican and Democratic Administrations — since March 2020.”

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