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Manchin opposes adding justices to the court

Manchin opposes adding justices to the court
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSusan Collins and the American legacy Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE (D-W.V.) said Sunday he would not support adding justices to the Supreme Court or doing away with the filibuster if Democrats win a Senate majority and the White House.

Manchin, who represents a state easily won by President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE in 2016, argued that the Senate must continue to work in a bipartisan way.

“I'm not going to vote for anything that would cause, basically, not be able to work in a bipartisan way,” Manchin, likely the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” when asked about expanding the court.

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“That is not something that I would support. I can't support that,” he added. “The whole premise of this Senate and this democracy experiment of ours is certain decency and social order that basically has been expected from us and especially from the Senate … now all of the sudden they're going to say, ‘Oh you don't have to talk anymore, you just have to have 51 votes and forget about the minority,’ well the minority has always played an important part in the Senate's proceedings.” 

It's unclear if Democrats would move to add justices to the court or get rid of the filibuster, which requires most major pieces of legislation to get 60 votes of support, if they won control of the chamber.

Manchin is not the only Democrat who has voiced reservations or outright opposition to doing so, though activist groups on the left are increasingly touting the need to make the changes to enact an aggressive agenda.

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The death of Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Mitt Romney did not vote for Trump in 2020 election The Senate should evoke RBG in its confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett MORE and the GOP Senate's plan to replace her in weeks has inflamed the discussion.

Senate Minority leader Charle Schumer (D-N.Y.) last month told Democrats that “nothing is off the table” if Republicans moved forward with their plan to fill the vacancy.

Manchin was the only Democrat to vote to confirm Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSusan Collins and the American legacy The Senate should evoke RBG in its confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court's Pennsylvania mail ballot ruling tees up test for Barrett MORE, but has joined Senate Democrats in opposing the vote on Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg ahead of the election.

“This is fanning the flames of division in a country that's already divided,” he said of the speedy process.

Manchin did say, however, that he will meet with Trump's nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.

Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill | Poll: Two-thirds of voters support Biden climate plan | Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes Senate Republicans offer constitutional amendment to block Supreme Court packing MORE (D-Mass.), one of the most liberal members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, has voiced support for expanding the court if the GOP moves forward with Ginsburg's replacement.