Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Thursday that he would not join a Democratic filibuster of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, arguing that the integrity of the Senate needs to be preserved.
Manchin, a conservative Democrat and key vote, told Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric that Senate decorum needs to be preserved and that it started to fall apart in 2013 when then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid instituted the so-called nuclear option.
“That’s not what the Founding Fathers decided for this body. This body’s a very unique body, a very deliberate body, supposed to be the teapot cooling the tea off,” Manchin said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced that Democrats would not merely oppose Gorsuch but would also back a filibuster to block him. Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Bob Casey, D-Pa., have said that they plan to oppose his confirmation.
But for Manchin, who said he’s “not a big filibuster guy to begin with,” Gorsuch should get an up-or-down vote unless a lawmakers has an actual, strong concern about him.
“How do you preserve the Senate? How do you preserve the input that the minority should have? Because what goes around comes around,” he said.
Manchin has been receiving briefings on Gorsuch’s testimony during the nominee’s multiday confirmation hearing. The senator is also set to meet with Gorsuch next week and plans to ask several questions to learn the Colorado jurist’s thought process. He said Gorsuch appears to be a solid choice based on a variety of criteria: character, educational background, family values and so on.
“I don’t expect, as a Democrat, that he’s going to appease a lot of Democrats because of his philosophical beliefs. But guess what? The Democrats, we didn’t win the presidential election so you don’t expect to a get a center-left [judge].”
Trump, unsurprisingly, nominated a conservative judge to fill the empty seat left by Antonin Scalia’s passing in February 2016. Manchin said Democrats should be concerned with whether he’s too far right or center-right.
“Well, he’s replacing Antonin Scalia, who is very, very conservative. So you can look at it evaluate it — well, is he more nontraditional or more conservative than Antonin Scalia? If he fits in the same wheelhouse, then you can [look at the] justice saying, ‘That kind of fits the same parameter as who he’s replacing.’”
Couric suggested that “given that parameter,” it sounded as though Manchin planned to vote “yes” on Gorsuch.
“Let’s just say I’m a very open-minded person,” he replied.
Read more from Yahoo News: