Manchin’s ‘Own Little Filibuster’ Against Partisan Judges

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he will not support any of President Joe Biden’s judicial picks who fail to garner at least one Republican vote.

“Just one Republican. That’s all I’m asking for. Give me something bipartisan. This is my own little filibuster,” Manchin said. “If they can’t get one Republican, I vote for none. I’ve told Democrats that. I said, ‘I’m sick and tired of it, I can’t take it anymore.’”

Manchin is a self-described “conservative Democrat” and has made a habit of siding with Republicans when he does not agree with President Joe Biden. He refused to vote for the “Build Back Better” plan in 2021 and helped to stall climate change policy in 2023 in two of the more notable stances Manchin has taken against the White House.

Manchin told CNN something similar regarding Adeel Mangi, a Biden nominee for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals who would also be the first Muslim-American on a federal appeals court.

Republicans and some Democrats have criticized Mangi for his ties to antisemitic and anti-police organizations. According to CNN, Manchin confirmed that he would vote against Mangi’s nomination alongside Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

“Mangi’s affiliation with the Alliance of Families for Justice is deeply concerning,” Cortez Masto said. “This organization has sponsored a fellowship in the name of Kathy Boudin, a member of the domestic terrorist organization Weather Underground, and advocated for the release of individuals convicted of killing police officers.”

Manchin’s stance against rubber-stamping judicial nominees, however, goes deeper than just one specific judge. Manchin is boycotting the entire idea of partisan politics.

“If they don’t have a Republican, I’m opposing. That’s my way of saying: ‘I’m leaving this place, I’ve tried everything I can. Don’t tell me you can’t get one.’ If you’ve got a decent person you can at least get one. Just go ask Lisa, go ask Susan, even Lindsey,” Manchin said.

The three senators mentioned by Manchin are Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (D-AK) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), all of whom have voted for one of Biden’s nominees in the past.

Manchin’s boycott does not prevent Democrats from pushing through judges, but it does mean that every Democrat in the Senate must vote for every nominee for them to push through. In cases like Mangi, the combination of Manchin and Masto voting “no” would mean he would not get the needed votes for confirmation.