CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who has voiced opposition to confirming a Supreme Court nominee before Election Day, met with Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday.
The meeting — first reported by the Washington Post and confirmed to MetroNews by Manchin’s office — makes Manchin the first Senate Democrat to talk with Barrett about her nomination.
President Donald Trump announced the nomination on Sept. 26, eight days after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Manchin was one of three Senate Democrats who voted in November 2017 for confirming Barrett to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Manchin voted to confirm both of Trump’s nominations to the Supreme Court; Manchin was the only Democrat who voted in October 2018 for the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.
West Virginia’s senior senator has said a vote on the next Supreme Court justice should happen after Nov. 3, noting the time needed to vet and approve a nominee.
“Rushing to confirm a Supreme Court nominee weeks before a presidential election has never been done before in the history of our nation and it will only fan the flames of division at a time when our country is deeply divided,” he said following last week’s nomination announcement.
“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.”
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., met with Barrett on Wednesday. Capito expressed confidence to reporters about the Senate confirming Barrett before Election Day.
“I think the fact that she was vetted very thoroughly three years ago helps shorten the process because background checks and investigations into writings have been very recent,” the junior senator said.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin hearings related to the nomination on Oct. 12.