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Senator Joe Manchin says no Supreme Court vote before election

Manchin says voting on the Supreme Court justice "will only deepen the political tribalism."

Updated: September 22, 2020 - 3:45pm

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin on Tuesday opposed the Senate voting on a Supreme Court nomination before the Nov. 3 presidential election – ending speculation about whether the Democrat lawmaker representing a conservative-leaning state would vote with Republicans. 

“For the sake of the integrity of our courts and legal system, I do not believe the U.S. Senate should vote on a U.S. Supreme Court nominee before the November 3rd election," Manchin said in a statement.

President Trump plans to announce Saturday his nominee to fill the high court seat of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday from complications from cancer.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the GOP-controlled chamber will hold a vote on a Trump nominee. Republicans hold 53 of the 100 Senate seats and appear to have enough votes without help from Manchin or other Senate Democrats to confirm a nominee to the court.

Manchin has voted with the Trump agenda more than any other Democratic senator, according to factcheck.org. Trump won more than 68% of the West Virginia vote in 2016.

"Pursuing an overtly partisan approach to confirming a Supreme Court justice will only deepen the political tribalism we are witnessing across this country," Manchin also said. "I implore every senator, regardless of party, to honor their responsibility to act in a manner that brings this country together rather than feed a cycle of endless political division.”