Sen. Joe Manchin said Wednesday he does not agree with his Democrat colleagues' calls to pack the Supreme Court, but he does agree that late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's seat should not be filled this close to the presidential election.
"I do not believe that would help anybody," the West Virginia Democrat told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" about calls to add justices to the court. "If you have 11 or 13, it's going to flip the other way no matter who comes in power. Why would you go down that path?"
However, Manchin said he does not believe that a candidate should be put forward to fill the Ginsburg vacancy, and he'd feel the same way if there was a Democrat in the White House and Democrats controlled the Senate.
He noted that according to the Congressional Research Center, only four court vacancies have occurred between July 1 and Election Day, and three presidents didn't nominate anyone because the election was too close.
"We look at history, and this is going to be precedent-setting," he said of Trump's plans to nominate a justice. "We should be waiting. I use the words of all my Republican colleagues with Merrick Garland to let the people decide...especially within 42 days to go."
Manchin also defended Democrat nominee Joe Biden's statement that he would not name his potential Supreme Court nominees.
"Basically, up until President Trump came along, no one ever announced who they would be considering or who was on their top list, so it's not unusual for him not to do it," said Manchin. "I get the demand that says why won't you do the same thing. But try not to politicize it."
Manchin also spoke out about the reports already starting about potential nominee Amy Coney Barrett and her Catholic faith, including involvement in a Christian charismatic group.
"I'm Catholic, okay," he said. "Religion should not enter into it. It sure doesn't with me. We are who we are, how we were raised, and who raised us. With that being the freedom of religion is one of the basic rights we all have as an American citizen."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.