Moderate Democratic Sen. Manchin Against Supreme Court Vote Before Election

September 21, 2020 Updated: September 21, 2020

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the only Democratic senator to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said he will not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee selected by President Donald Trump before the November election.

“It is simply irresponsible to rush the adequate and proper vetting required of any new candidate for the bench,” he said in a statement.

Other Democrats in the Senate are expected to try and block the nomination. Meanwhile, two GOP senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said over the weekend that they both do not support nominating a Supreme Court justice before the election.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), another potential swing vote, has not yet released a statement on the process.

Trump said he would attempt to fill the seat and has a number of potential justices lined up, following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 18. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also said he would try to nominate a justice.

McConnell, on the floor Monday, said his chamber has “more than sufficient time” to confirm Ginsburg’s replacement, adding that Democrats are plotting “an even more appalling sequel” to the fight over Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

“The American people are about to witness an astonishing parade of misrepresentations about the past, misstatements about the present, and more threats against our institutions from the same people—the same people who have already been saying for months, well before this, already been saying for months they want to pack the court,” McConnell said.

He added: “We’re already hearing incorrect claims that there is not sufficient time to examine and confirm a nominee. We can debunk this myth in about 30 seconds. As of today, there are 43 days until Nov. 3 and 104 days until the end of this Congress.”

McConnell noted that Justice John Paul Stevens was confirmed in the upper chamber in 19 days after they received the nomination.

“Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, another iconic jurist, was confirmed 33 days after her nomination. For the late Justice Ginsburg herself, it was just 42 days,” he said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said over the weekend that “nothing is off the table next year,” while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “We have our options, we have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now.”

“We have a responsibility, we take an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States. We have a responsibility to meet the needs of the American people. When we weigh the equities of protecting our democracy, requires us to use every arrow in our quiver,” Pelosi responded, without elaborating or providing a plan.