Sen. Joe Manchin said the candidates on Biden’s Supreme Court shortlist are “extremely qualified.”
He also heaped praise on one possible pick, South Carolina federal district judge J. Michelle Childs.
Manchin has been a holdout on parts of Biden’s legislative agenda, but he’s voted to confirm the president’s judicial nominees.
Sen. Joe Manchin on Thursday said he’s seen some Supreme Court candidates on President Joe Biden’s shortlist and expressed confidence in them.
“Whoever they choose is going to be great,” he told CNN’s Manu Raju, adding that the contenders are “extremely qualified” and “good people.”
Separately, Manchin praised one possible pick, South Carolina federal district judge J. Michelle Childs, whom he called “a tremendous, tremendous candidate.” Other members of Congress who have recently lauded Childs are Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, both of whom hail from her home state of South Carolina.
“I think there’s a tremendous amount of qualified candidates. I like the background of Ms. Childs from South Carolina. She seems to have a really solid background, grass roots, working family, public schools — all the right ingredients,” Manchin told NBC’s Sahil Kapur of Childs. “We need somebody with that type of background. But they’re all qualified. We’ll see who the president puts out.”
After Associate Justice Stephen Breyer announced last week that he intends to retire at the end of the current Supreme Court term, Biden reaffirmed his campaign pledge to nominate the first-ever Black woman to the nation’s highest court. He said he plans to introduce his nominee by the end of February and Senate Democratic leaders aim to move quickly to confirm her. The party doesn’t need any Republican support to confirm Biden’s nominee as long all 50 Democrats are on board and Vice President Kamala Harris casts the tiebreaking vote.
Since Biden took office and Democrats won a narrow Senate majority, Manchin has attracted the national spotlight because of his outsized influence on the party’s domestic agenda. The moderate lawmaker has consistently fought back against his Democratic colleagues who seek to remove the 60-vote Senate filibuster to advance Biden’s legislative priorities on a simple-majority vote. And recently, Manchin opposed Biden’s signature legislation Build Back Better, a trillion-dollar package that would dramatically strengthen the country’s social safety net.
When it comes to the federal courts, however, Manchin has stuck with his party and voted to confirm Biden’s nominees. The senator’s comments on Thursday offer Biden an optimistic signal.
Besides Childs, possible candidates on Biden’s shortlist include DC federal appeals court judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.
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