Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a relative moderate who has served as a brake on President Joe Biden’s leftist agenda on multiple occasions, is still a left-leaning liberal at the end of the day, which he just reminded everybody of on Friday.
The West Virginia Democrat let it be known that he intended to vote in favor of confirming Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, NPR reported.
Given the strong likelihood that every other Senate Democrat will similarly vote for Jackson, Manchin’s announcement makes her eventual confirmation to the high court a near-certainty.
Manchin to vote “Yes” on Jackson
Following the completion this week of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings for Judge Jackson’s nomination, Sen. Manchin released a statement Friday announcing his intent to support the nominee.
“Senators have a constitutional obligation to advise and consent on a nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy and this is a responsibility I take very seriously,” Manchin said. “Just as I have with previous Supreme Court nominees, I met with Judge Jackson and evaluated her qualifications to be a Supreme Court Justice.”
“After meeting with her, considering her record, and closely monitoring her testimony and questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, I have determined I intend to vote for her nomination to serve on the Supreme Court,” he added.
The Democratic senator proceeded to praise the “exemplary” career and record of Judge Jackson and highlighted her prior education and acquired experience in a variety of different areas within the legal realm.
“Her wide array of experiences in varying sectors of our judicial system have provided Judge Jackson a unique perspective that will serve her well on our nation’s highest court,” Manchin concluded. “I am confident Judge Jackson is supremely qualified and has the disposition necessary to serve as our nation’s next Supreme Court Justice.”
McConnell signals “No” vote on Jackson
Contrast that statement from Sen. Manchin with the floor speech delivered Thursday by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in which he announced his opposition to Judge Jackson’s nomination and likely provided cover for all of his fellow Senate Republicans to vote against President Biden’s pick to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
“The Judiciary Committee has completed its hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. I enjoyed meeting the nominee. I went into the Senate’s process with an open mind,” McConnell said. “But after studying the nominee’s record and watching her performance this week, I cannot and will not support Judge Jackson for a lifetime appointment to our highest Court.”
Of course, as noted by NPR, and given that only a simple majority is necessary for Jackson’s confirmation in the evenly divided Senate, it won’t matter if Republicans are completely unified in opposition as, assuming Democrats are also unified in support, Vice President Kamala Harris will be able to cast the deciding tie-breaking vote in Jackson’s favor.
The outlet reported that the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet again on Monday to discuss Judge Jackson’s nomination and schedule a full confirmation vote to take place either this coming week or the next, with a goal of having her confirmed no later than Easter weekend.