Manchin on Court-Packing: ‘We’ve Proven That Doesn’t Work’

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Monday voiced his concern with Democrats packing the Supreme Court in response to Republicans nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the court in the final year of President Donald Trump’s first term.

Manchin argued on “MSNBC Live” that if Democrats retaliate by packing the court, Republicans will do the same when they take the White. He said that back and forth “doesn’t solve a thing,” adding it is “proven that doesn’t work.”

“Well, let’s look at it this way: In 2017, we are where we are today on this vote we’re taking with 51 vote threshold because Mitch McConnell changed the rules with a nuclear option in 2017. But in all fairness, in 2013, Harry Reid started it by changing all the other lower case judges and appointees,” Manchin advised. “So once you start tit for tat, now I think Joe Biden understands the system and basically the Senate better than anybody. He understands when the Senate worked well, how it worked well and when it started falling apart. I don’t believe there’s a better person prepared to try to help bring us back together and repair the Senate than Joe Biden. That why I’m so committed and trying to make sure that he has the opportunity and ability to do that. When he says he wants to put a bipartisan commission to see if it can make it — he didn’t say he wanted to see if he’s going to expand the court. He wants to see if he can make it more nonpartisan and we don’t have these continuous disruptions we have because it’ll be tit for tat if the Democrats try to put two more on, when the Republicans take over the White House, they’ll do the same. No, that doesn’t solve a thing. We’ve proven that doesn’t work.”

Host Hallie Jackson asked Manchin for clarification on if he would support expanding the court if a bipartisan commission formed by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden — if elected — recommended doing so.

“I will not do a thing that will drive us further apart as a Senate,” he replied. “We’ve split this country too far now. Let’s start coming together. Joe Biden can bring us back together. He truly can, and I’m counting on that. I hope everyone else is, too.”

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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