Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a key swing vote, announced Friday afternoon that he will vote in favor of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
“I have reservations about this vote given the serious accusations against Judge Kavanaugh and the temperament he displayed in the hearing,” Manchin wrote in a statement. However, based on all of the information I have available to me, including the recently completed FBI report, I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him.”
I will vote to support Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. pic.twitter.com/1FfuMTOZz8
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) October 5, 2018
Moments after he announced his choice, Capitol protesters descended on the senator, shouting, “Shame!”
MANCHIN VIDEO: among the more intense senator q&a's I ever experienced… he just announced his yes and was nearly drowned out by protesters. pic.twitter.com/BldwzJmVO8
— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) October 5, 2018
Earlier Friday, Manchin broke with his Democrat colleagues, voting “aye” on cloture for Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
The West Virginia lawmaker was the first Democrat to meet with Trump’s high court pick, calling the nearly two-hour meeting “very productive.” In an early July statement, Manchin told reporters he would seriously consider supporting the judge’s confirmation.
“As the Senator from West Virginia, I have a constitutional obligation to advise and consent on a nominee to fill Supreme Court vacancies and I take that responsibility seriously,” he said. “Just as I did when Merrick Garland and Neil Gorsuch were nominated, I will evaluate Judge Kavanaugh’s record, legal qualifications, judicial philosophy and particularly, his views on healthcare.”
Manchin offered insight into how he could vote in an interview with Al-Jazeera Thursday, saying the decision would square largely on Kavanaugh’s record of public service. “I am looking at the gentleman as an adult from 22 to 53, thirty-one years of professional service,” he said. “I am looking at him as a father. As a person in a community, how he interacts with his community. I am trying to put the human side to it.”