Manchin, Capito weigh in on Supreme Court vacancy

Staff Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — West Virginia’s two U.S. Senators have now weighed in on the process of filling the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, III (D), released this statement on Monday: “For the sake of the integrity of our courts and legal system, I do not believe the U.S. Senate should vote on a U.S. Supreme Court nominee before the November 3rd election. For Mitch McConnell and my Republican colleagues to rush through this process after refusing to even meet with Judge Merrick Garland in 2016 is hypocrisy in its highest form. The U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court in the land and it is simply irresponsible to rush the adequate and proper vetting required of any new candidate for the bench. Pursuing an overtly partisan approach to confirming a Supreme Court Justice will only deepen the political tribalism we are witnessing across this country. I implore every Senator, regardless of party, to honor their responsibility to act in a manner that brings this country together rather than feed a cycle of endless political division.”

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R) released the following statement on Tuesday: “President Trump and the Republican Senate, both elected by the American people, should act to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Ginsburg’s passing. The Constitution authorizes the president to name a nominee, and it gives the Senate the power to approve or disapprove of that nomination. West Virginians and the American people expect us to exercise that responsibility. I support the choice to move forward with the confirmation process and will consider President Trump’s nominee on her merits as West Virginians would expect me to do. In these trying and polarized times, it is important to exercise our constitutional authority and move forward with the process.”

Also on Tuesday, Capito’s democratic challenger in the general election, Paula Jean Swearengin, commented, in part: “We knew this hypocrisy was coming. We knew we couldn’t trust Shelley to even uphold her OWN words.”

Along with her full comments which can be found on her Facebook page, Swearengin referenced Capito’s 2016 statement on filling the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, with then President Barack Obama nominating Judge Merrick Garland in March 2016, approximately eight months prior to the presidential election.

Capito’s statement, released on March 16, 2016, was as follows: “Before a Supreme Court justice is confirmed to a lifetime position on the bench, West Virginians and the American people should have the ability to weigh in at the ballot box this November. My position does not change with the naming of a nominee today.

“Anyone confirmed to the Supreme Court will play a key role in decisions on monumental issues ranging from EPA regulations that affect West Virginia’s energy sector, to immigration and Second Amendment rights. With just a few months until the election, West Virginians should have an opportunity to express their views and elect a new president who will select the Supreme Court justice.”

This year’s presidential election is in 41 days, on Nov. 3.

President Trump announced this week he will nominate Ginsburg’s replacement on Saturday at The White House.

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Staff Report