Manchin voices opposition to Readler nomination to federal appeals court

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 8, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin said he was opposed to President Donald Trump's nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, Chad Readler.

"This is one time I feel very compelled to (voice my opinion)," Manchin (D-W.Va.) said March 5 during the Senate floor session. "I rise today to ask my colleagues not to confirm Chad Readler to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. A vote for him, in my estimation, is a vote against every West Virginian and every American with a pre-existing condition."

Manchin said as acting assistant attorney general, Readler refused to defend the Affordable Care Act. Manchin was referring to Readler signing a brief on June 8 keeping the U.S. Department of Justice from defending the health care law in a lawsuit by stating its individual mandate was unconstitutional.

 "That's his job," Manchin said. "That's the law of the land and he refused to protect and defend it."

Manchin said it resulted in putting many people's coverage in jeopardy if they got sick.

"We voted in this body to not repeal it," Manchin said. "He said as his own person that it was unconstitutional."

Manchin said because of Readler, the court ruled against pre-existing conditions in December.

"I cannot stand idly by and allow the Senate to confirm a person who single-handedly tried to rip health insurance away from West Virginians and Americans when he had no authority to do so," Manchin said. "A vote for Mr. Readler is a vote against people with pre-existing conditions and I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will join me in voting against his confirmation. This is something I don't do often and I don't take this lightly."

The Senate voted 53-45 to move Readler's nomination forward. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) voted in favor.

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