Following a meeting with federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh on Monday, Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., indicated he has not made up his mind about the Supreme Court nominee.
Manchin suggested in comments to reporters that he would likely seek a second meeting with Kavanaugh after his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Judge Kavanaugh and I had a productive meeting and talked about his experience, record and a variety of issues that will impact West Virginians, including his views on healthcare,” Manchin said in a statement.”
He added, “As the Senator from West Virginia, I have a constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on a nominee to fill Supreme Court vacancies and I take that responsibility seriously.”
Manchin called it irresponsible for senators to reveal their position minutes after the nominee is announced and said he would not make a final decision on Kavanaugh’s nomination until after completing a thorough and fair examination of his candidacy.
The West Virginia senator is among several Democrats up for re-election that Republicans will push to support Kavanaugh’s nomination, as President Donald Trump overwhelming won Manchin’s home state in the 2016 election.
Following Manchin’s statement, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee accused the senator of dragging his feet to aid Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s, D-N.Y., efforts to block Kavanaugh.
“Joe Manchin is proving once again that he is all talk, meeting with Judge Kavanaugh, but refusing to commit to voting for his confirmation,” said NRSC Spokesman Bob Salera.
He added, “Manchin is doing the bidding of Chuck Schumer and his liberal allies by dragging his feet as Democrats attempt to derail President Trump’s Supreme Court pick.”
A recent report from Politico describing the Democratic strategy to block Kavanaugh said Schumer is urging vulnerable Democrats to keep any hint they might support the Supreme Court nominee to themselves.
Politico said Schumer is hoping to hold his caucus in line and force Republicans to reach the 50 votes needed to confirm Kavanaugh on their own.
Libertarian-leaning Republican Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced his support for Kavanaugh’s nomination on Monday after previously describing himself as “honestly undecided.”
Despite initially wavering, Paul was always widely expected to come around to supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Democratic leaders are likely holding out more hope moderate Republican Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, will be convinced to vote against Kavanaugh.
by RTTNews Staff Writer
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