Manchin Will Only Vote for Judicial Nominees That Have Bipartisan Support

by State Brief

West Virginia’s lone Democrat in the United States Senate says he will not vote for President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees if they are not supported by at least one Republican.

Senator Joe Manchin has frequently called for bipartisan cooperation amid partisan bifurcation in Congress. 

“Just one Republican. That’s all I’m asking for. Give me something bipartisan. This is my own little filibuster,” he told reporters on March 20, reports POLITICO. “If they can’t get one Republican, I vote for none. I’ve told [Democrats] that. I said, ‘I’m sick and tired of it, I can’t take it anymore.’”

Manchin announced in November that he will not seek reelection after 14 years in the Senate. He already has a reputation as a centrist member of his party and was labeled the “villain” of the 2022 Democratic primary because he could derail the presidential legislative agenda in the then-evenly split chamber.

“If they don’t have a Republican, I’m opposing,” said Manchin. “That’s my way of saying: ‘I’m leaving this place, I’ve tried everything I can. Don’t tell me you can’t get one.’ If you’ve got a decent person you can at least get one.”

Manchin noted that several Republicans, including Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have previously broken with their party while voting.

The 76-year-old has been critical of the increasing divergence between political powers in America. He described the Biden White House as being controlled by “far, far-left liberals” during an interview in January and expressed concern about the long-term effects of the current administration.

Despite persistent rumors, Manchin ruled out an independent bid for the presidency in February.

“I will not be involved in a presidential run. I will be involved in making sure that we secure a president that has the knowledge and has the passion and has the ability to bring this country together,” he said while at West Virginia University as part of a nationwide speaking tour. “I just don’t think it’s my time.”

One day before, Manchin had floated selecting Utah Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican, as a hypothetical running mate if he were to seek the White House. The two senators sat together at Biden’s State of the Union in March on the Republican side of the aisle.

“Sen. Manchin sat with his colleague Sen. Romney to remind the American people and the world that bipartisanship works and is alive and well in the U.S. Senate,” Sam Runyon, a spokesman for the West Virginia senator, told Axios.

Biden named his 45th round of federal judicial nominations on Feb. 8. In total, he has nominated 219 candidates. 

These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country—both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds,” the Biden administration said in the announcement.

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