(DCWatchdog.com) – Clarifying remarks he made earlier about the midterm elections, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he would only oppose a second nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court if a vacancy became available right before the 2024 Presidential Election.
This clarification came after Manchin told reporters he would not support confirming a second Biden nominee to the Supreme Court if the vacancy emerged before this year’s midterms.
When asked his thoughts on whether the Senate should act if another seat became available “later in the year closer to the election,” Manchin responded that he would not be “hypocritical on that.”
He continued his comments saying, “If it comes a week or two weeks before like it did with our last Supreme Court nominee, I think that’s a time it should go to the next election.”
These remarks quickly drew attention on social media when several reporters tweeted his statement.
Manchin moved quickly to clear up confusion surrounding his response, saying that he “misspoke” earlier, before explaining that he would only hold up a Supreme Court confirmation process if it were to take place right before the Presidential election. He stated, “I was referring to that election, before a major presidential election.”
This is the same stance Manchin and other Democrats held after the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. At the time, they urged then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to wait to move a nominee until after the presidential election so that the incoming president could make the choice. This was the same posture held by McConnell in 2016 when he prevented former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland from getting a Senate hearing or vote.
When Amy Coney Barrett was the nominee to succeed Bader Ginsberg, Manchin was outspoken about opposing her nomination and rushing the process through the Senate. At the time, he stated, “Rushing to confirm a Supreme Court nominee weeks before a presidential election has never been done before in the history of our nation and it will only fan the flames of division at a time when our country is deeply divided.”