Senate

Manchin ‘not going to filibuster’ Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) says he isn’t planning to join calls from fellow Democrats to filibuster President Trump’s forthcoming Supreme Court nominee. 

“I’m not going to filibuster anybody,” Manchin told the conservative Weekly Standard on Tuesday.

Senate Democrats are expected to put up a fight over Trump’s pick to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Antonin Scalia’s death last year.

Republicans need 60 votes to prevent a filibuster, but the GOP only holds 52 seats, meaning they’ll need at least eight Democrats to override a filibuster.

{mosads}Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said earlier this month that Democrats would fight “tooth and nail” if Trump’s Supreme Court pick isn’t “bipartisan and mainstream.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also circulated a petition Monday urging colleagues to block any Trump nominee given Senate Republicans’ refusal to give a hearing or vote to Merrick Garland, former President Barack Obama’s pick to fill the vacancy last year.

“This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” Merkley told Politico. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this. … I will definitely object to a simple majority.”

The Senate GOP’s refusal has left the country’s highest court with only eight justices for nearly a year.

But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told Politico on Tuesday that Republicans could move to amend Senate rules, changing the 60-vote threshold that the GOP would need to meet to block a filibuster.

“The Democrats are not going to succeed in filibustering the Supreme Court nominee,” Cruz said. “All procedural options are on the table. The bottom line is we will confirm a strong conservative to replace Justice Scalia.”

Trump is expected to announce his Supreme Court nominee Tuesday night.

Tags Barack Obama Charles Schumer Jeff Merkley Joe Manchin SCOTUS Ted Cruz

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