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Manchin becomes first Democrat to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick

Manchin becomes first Democrat to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Overnight Health Care: CDC panel recommends who gets vaccine first | McConnell offering new relief bill | Hahn downplays White House meeting on vaccines Bipartisan, bicameral group unveils 8 billion coronavirus proposal MORE (D-W.Va.) on Thursday met with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE's Supreme Court nominee, becoming the first Senate Democrat known sit down with her. 

The meeting, confirmed by a spokesperson for the Democratic senator, took place on Thursday evening. Barrett has been making the rounds on Capitol Hill since Tuesday but each of her other dozens of meetings have been with Republican senators. 
 

But he's pledged that he will not support confirming a Supreme Court nominee before the Nov. 3 election. Absent an eleventh-hour setback, Republicans are poised to confirm Barrett during the last week of October, just days for the November election. Though other nominees will have gone from nomination to confirmation in a fewer number of days, Barrett will set a record for being confirmed the closest to a presidential election. 

"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 3rd. I urge my Republican friends to slow down, put people before politics, and give their constituents a chance to vote," Manchin said after Trump announced his intention to nominate Barrett. 

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Judd Deere, a spokesman for the White House, told The Hill earlier this week that it had extended invitations to Senate Democrats to meet with Barrett, adding that he hoped Democrats took "their constitutional duty to advise and consent seriously and confirm this well qualified nominee."

Deere and a senior administration official confirmed the meeting with Manchin, which was first reported by The Washington Post.

The question of whether or not to meet with Barrett has been a point of contention among Senate Democrats. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcConnell: COVID-19 relief will be added to omnibus spending package Overnight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases The five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden MORE (D-N.Y.) and several Democrats including Sens. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation MORE (Hawaii) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) have said they will not meet with her. The meetings are more of a tradition in the Senate and are meant to give senators a chance to get to know a nominee and ask questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. 

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyTop GOP senator warns government funding deal unlikely this week Incoming Congress looks more like America The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience MORE (D-Vt.), a former chairman and current member of the committee, appeared critical of the White House outreach efforts. He told reporters earlier Thursday that they had reached out to him while the late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgCuomo likens COVID-19 to the Grinch: 'The season of viral transmission' For Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty Cardinal Dolan hails Supreme Court decision on churches, COVID-19 MORE was lying in state, calling the move "tasteless." 

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Other Democratic senators including Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinCriminal justice groups offer support for Durbin amid fight for Judiciary spot The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms Overnight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases MORE (Ill.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation MORE (Minn.) have indicated they would at least hold a phone call, due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Barrett. 

Sen. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms Overnight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases Bipartisan Senate group holding coronavirus relief talks amid stalemate MORE (D-Del.) told reporters that he is scheduled to speak by phone with Barrett next week. 

Al Weaver contributed to this report, which was updated at 8:41 p.m.