On Thursday, Joe Manchin — the controversial moderate Democratic Senator from West Virginia — indicated that he is open to supporting President Biden’s upcoming Supreme Court nominee regardless of the nominee's “philosophical beliefs.”
While on the air with the West Virginia MetroNews’ radio show “Talkline,” Senator Manchin — who voted to confirm two of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominees — said that “you look at the qualifications and if the person’s competent enough to do the job.”
Manchin said that his difference in worldview from Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett was not reason enough for him to oppose their confirmation to the Supreme Court. Manchin stated that he did not vote to approve Coney Barret because “it was just hypocritical to put her up one week before [the 2020 general election] after they held up Merrick Garland for a year.”
Noting that the Supreme Court confirmation process has grown increasingly partisan and bitter in recent years, Manchin said that “if we are going to have a rule, then have a rule of civility.”
The host of "Talkline," Hoppy Kercheval, noted to Senator Manchin that whomever the Biden administration nominates to fill Justice Breyer’s vacancy will be “to the left” of the West Virginia senator, to which Manchin replied, “What you want is someone, forget the philosophical beliefs they may have, it’s basically how they have dispensed justice, their record, have they been outspoken, have they been fair – things of that sort.”
“Whoever [Biden] puts up will have experience, and we’ll be able to judge them off of that,” Manchin continued, “But, as far as just the philosophical beliefs, no, that will not prohibit me from supporting somebody.”
Whereas Senator Manchin is concerned with the professional capabilities of President Biden’s nominee, those to his left are primarily concerned with the race and gender of whoever is elevated to the bench. In 2020, while running for President, Biden pledged to nominate a black woman should an opening on the Supreme Court arise during a Biden presidency.
Progressive Democrats took to social media to remind the president of what he promised while working to secure the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination during the 2020 primary.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the President’s commitment to nominating a black woman to the Supreme Court.
Despite the likelihood that Joe Biden will nominate a left-wing activist to the bench, should his nominee be affirmed, it is extremely unlikely that the new justice would shift the Supreme Court's ideological leanings.