Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) on Wednesday praised President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee for having "all the right qualities." But he stopped short of giving a full endorsement, saying he will listen to his constituents about their opinions of the nominee.
Manchin appeared on West Virginia MetroNews, a statewide radio station, where host Hoppy Kercheval asked him whether he was going to to support nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
"Do you have a lean today?" Kercheval asked.
"No, I don’t have a lean. I think he seems to be a very fine person of high moral standards, a family person who’s very involved in his community, has all the right qualities. He’s well-educated," Manchin said. "And with that, you know, we have to just look at making sure that the rule of law and the Constitution is going to be followed, and that’s going to basically preempt anything else he does. "
"Most importantly, Hop, I intend to hear from West Virginians. And during that period of time, I just announced, I’ll be hearing from West Virginians and their opinion. And I think they have, also, a right. And that’s who I work for. They’re my boss. And we want to hear from them, too, during this process," Manchin continued.
A new poll released on Tuesday by Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) indicated 59 percent of West Virginia voters want Manchin to confirm Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh, who was nominated Monday night to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the nation’s highest court, will now face confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. A vote before the full Senate will follow, assuming he clears the smaller committee. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) recently vowed that a vote will happen this fall before midterm elections.
While Manchin said his constituents will help him a reach a decision on how to vote after the confirmation hearing, he will face pressure from liberal groups to vote against Kavanaugh. A leader for the organization Indivisible Project, a progressive group formed as a reaction to the election of Trump, said on Tuesday night that his organization will be trying to pressure all Senate Democrats to unify against Kavanaugh. Many Democratic senators, politicians, and officials have similarly expressed the need to oppose Trump's nominee.
In contrast, conservatives have widely praised Kavanaugh for his adherence to the Constitution and immense qualifications.