‘Disgraceful’: Manchin Flames Republicans Over How They Handled Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Hearing

(Alex Wong/Getty Images) (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin spoke out against several Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans’ handling of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination hearings during a brief interview on Tuesday.

“It was disgraceful, it really was, what I saw. And I met with her and I read all the transcripts. I listened to basically the hearings and it just was embarrassing,” the moderate told CNN’s Manu Raju. “It’s not who we are. It’s not what we were sent here to do, to attack other people and just try to tear them down. I won’t be part of that. I think she’s extremely well qualified and I think she’ll be an exemplary judge.”

Manchin’s comments were an apparent reference to Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri, Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, all of whom pursued aggressive lines of questioning related to Jackson’s handling of child pornography offenders. The senators argued that Jackson repeatedly under-sentenced child pornography convicts were in contravention of federal sentencing guidelines. Democrats and some conservative commentators pushed back on the characterization, with committee chairman Dick Durbin quoting a National Review column from former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy during the hearings.

Manchin previously cast doubt on the Republicans’ soft on child pornography allegations.

“It’s Hawley, right? Take that for what it’s worth,” he told Politico.

The most conservative Democrat, Manchin has pledged to support Jackson’s nomination. Although he has opposed several high-profile cabinet nominees, Manchin has voted to support each of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees. (RELATED: Manchin Sinks Federal Reserve Nominee Who Drew Republican Boycott)

“Her wide array of experiences in varying sectors of our judicial system have provided Judge Jackson a unique perspective that will serve her well on our nation’s highest court. During our meeting, she was warm and gracious. On top of her impressive resume, she has the temperament to make an exceptional jurist,” he said in a Friday statement.