CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has challenged Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) to a debate regarding the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Morrisey believes a debate between the two on several issues would be good for West Virginia voters.
Kavanaugh was nominated earlier this month by President Donald Trump to fill the seat that will be left vacant by Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement at the end of the month.
Morrisey said West Virginians understand that critical issues, such as life, religious liberty and the Second Amendment, will play a substantial role in shaping the nation.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.)
"With the great responsibility given to the U.S. Senate to advise and consent on judicial nominees, West Virginians deserve to hear directly from those seeking their votes on where they stand on the most critical issues of our time,” Morrisey said in a press release.
Morrisey said it is a disservice to voters that Manchin has used Trump's nominee to manipulate and establish false litmus tests on issues like Obamacare and abortion.
“By remaining unclear about his positions, Sen. Manchin has aligned himself with Schumer and liberal special interests in opposition to President Trump's Supreme Court nominee,” Morrisey said in the press release. “Voters deserve an honest debate between Sen. Manchin and myself on the future of the U.S. Supreme Court and the American judiciary.”
Nathan Brand, Morrisey’s spokesman for his campaign, said Manchin has not yet responded to the request for a debate.
“We’ll keep at it. You have our word on that,” Brand said in an interview with the West Virginia Record. “We’re going to want to debate with him about these issues. We’ll keep pushing for it. “
Manchin was previously quoted as saying he thought Trump should choose a centrist for U.S. Supreme Court justice because someone on either side would divide America.
Manchin said the Supreme Court will ultimately decide if nearly 800,000 West Virginias with pre-existing conditions will lose their health care.
"This decision will directly impact almost 40 percent of my state, so I’m very interested in his position on protecting West Virginians with pre-existing conditions," Manchin said in a previous statement. "As I have always said, I believe the Senate should hold committee hearings; Senators should meet with him. We should debate his qualifications on the Senate floor and cast whatever vote we believe he deserves."