CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin will be looking for public feedback on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court at a public town hall Thursday in downtown Charleston.
Obama nominated Garland last week to replace Antonin Scalia after his sudden death in Texas last month.
Manchin said it wouldn’t be fair not to at least have a fair discussion on Garland before rushing to conclusions.
“All my good Republican friends–you know I get along with everybody–I just can’t figure why they want to shut it down and not even talk to a person,” Manchin said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.” “I just asked them and said this doesn’t make any sense.”
He insisted that his decision on whether to approve Garland wouldn’t be based on he and Obama both being Democrats, and said he was at odds with Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on trying to rush a vote.
“I’m out swinging as hard as I can against him,” Manchin said of McConnell. “I’m out swinging. I’m hoping that Mitch doesn’t bring him up for a vote. I’m praying not to bring him up for a vote because I think we need to change. But it goes through the process.”
Manchin hoped to get plenty of public feedback at Thursday’s forum, saying that he told Garland on the phone that he wanted to get to know him.
“If you know something about the man, share it with me,” Manchin said. “I spoke to him yesterday on the phone; he called me. And I said ‘Judge Merrick, I’m anxious to talk to you, because I guarantee you West Virginians want to know.’ And that’s what tomorrow’s all about.
The town hall will be at 3:30 p.m at the Ceremonial Courtroom of the W. Kent Carper Justice & Public Safety Complex on Virginia Street.