Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin told CNN anchor Jake Tapper that he would oppose any efforts by other Democrats to fundamentally alter the Supreme Court or the Senate.
Some Democrats have expressed a desire to abolish the Senate filibuster, then “pack” the Supreme Court as a way to neutralize the potential confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and ram through their agenda if they retake the Senate.
“Senator Chuck Schumer says no options are off the table next year,” Tapper noted during Sunday morning’s “State of the Union.” “Just to be clear, if Democrats win back the Senate, would you vote against any effort to expand the U.S. Supreme Court?”
“Jake, the thing about the Senate is so much different,” Manchin said, reiterating a stance he took during a “Fox & Friends” interview last week. “Our intentions in how the Senate came about, the founding fathers was supposed to be the cooling sauce, if you will, the sauce that cooled off the hot tea. We were supposed to work in a bipartisan, and we’ve done that.”
“We’ve set basically over the course of history how the Senate basically would be the most deliberate body looking and thinking and bringing people together, letting things calm down so we could have sensible, reasonable decisions,” he continued. “Now, with that, I am not going to vote for anything that would cause basically not to be able to work in a bipartisan way.”
“So you would vote against that?” Tapper asked.
“That is not something that I would support. I can’t support that,” Manchin responded. “The whole premise of this Senate, in this democracy, the experiment of ours, is just certain decency and social order that basically has been expected from us and especially from the Senate from the beginning of our government.”
Manchin decried the notion of doing away with the Senate’s tradition of giving a voice to the political minority. (RELATED: McConnell Says Eliminating Filibuster Would ‘Disfigure The Senate’)
“Now all of a sudden they’re going to say, oh, you don’t have to talk anymore, you just have to have 51 votes and forget about the minority?” he asked. “Well, the minority has always played an important part in the Senate’s proceedings because it was supposed to basically take our consideration if you’re in the minority, you still have input, you’re still represented and you’re still being deliberative enough to bring common sense together, to make sure that we’ve looked at every angle we can for American justice.”
The West Virginia senator reiterated his intentions to not vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett, citing the timing, but did tell Tapper he would meet with her if asked.