(PresidentialInsider.com)- In a potential foreshadow of events that could come, moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia said this week that he wouldn’t support confirming an additional nominee to the Supreme Court if it happened right before the next presidential election in 2024.
Instead, Manchin said he’d want to wait until after the election revealed which administration would be in the White House for 2025.
The comments by Manchin were a clarification of those he made earlier in the day, when he said he wouldn’t support a second nominee to the high court from President Joe Biden if it happened before the midterm elections in November of this year.
He told reporters he “misspoke” in his original comments, clarifying that he meant he’d only hold up a nomination to the Supreme Court if it happened immediately before the presidential election in 2024.
“I was referring to that election, before a major presidential election.”
Manchin’s comments shouldn’t actually come as a surprise to his Democratic colleagues, since it’s the exactly position they all took during the confirmation process for Amy Coney Barrett in 2020.
When liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away in September of 2020, Democrats said then-President Donald Trump should wait until after the presidential election in November of 2020 to put forth a nominee.
Instead, Trump pushed through his nominee with the help of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, so that Republicans could get another conservative justice secured for life on the high court.
That angered Democrats, since Republicans had blocked a nominee made by former President Barack Obama in 2016. McConnell — who was also majority leader of the Senate at the time — said he wouldn’t begin confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court in a presidential election year.
That meant that Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland — who is now Biden’s attorney general — never even got an official hearing or vote from the Senate. Then, only four years later, McConnell and Republicans switched course and put their own nominee forward.
That series of events had many people thinking that if the same situation were to repeat itself in 2024, all Democrats would be on board with rushing through a nominee to the high court, if only to exact revenge on Republicans for doing the same to them.
However, that doesn’t seem like it would happen, according to Manchin’s comments. Of course, this could all be a moot point, since there’s no guarantee another opening on the Supreme Court would happen in 2024, nor is it a guarantee that Democrats will still have the majority in the upper chamber of Congress.
Still, Manchin is staying true to his word. In 2020, he blasted Trump and McConnell for rushing Coney Barrett’s nomination. At the time, he said:
“Rushing to confirm a Supreme Court nominee weeks before a presidential election has never been done before in the history of our nation and it will only fan the flames of division at a time when our country is deeply divided.
“I cannot support a process that risks further division of the American people at a time when we desperately need to come together. I will not vote to confirm Judge Coney Barrett or any Supreme Court nominee before Election Day on November 3. I urge my Republican friends to slow down, put people before politics, and give their constituents a chance to vote.”