Joe’s Choice

Manchin should vote yes on Kavanaugh

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., met Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in July, and plans to talk with him again. Soon after that, probably on Sept. 20, the full Senate will vote on whether to confirm Kavanaugh.

Manchin should vote yes.

If it had not become clear to Manchin that Kavanaugh is the right choice for West Virginians, as well as all Americans, it should have become obvious last week.

Kavanaugh acquited himself well during Senate hearings last week – giving both lawmakers and the public a clear look at a nominee very well qualified to sit on the nation’s highest court.

In contrast, his opponents provided no substantive reasons to vote against him. Their strategy was one of theatrics, disruption and delay — not facts. Surely that made it obvious to Manchin that anti-Kavanaugh hysteria has no real foundation.

Among liberals’ star witnesses during the Kavanaugh hearings was John Dean, of Watergate fame. Dean, the White House counsel during the early 1970s, cooperated with the investigation of then-President Richard Nixon.

During the hearings last week, Dean insisted that a Supreme Court with Kavanaugh as a member would be “the most presidential powers-friendly court in the modern era.”

Nonsense. Among the 300 or so decisions Kavanaugh has authored as a federal appeals court judge are several curbing the executive branch’s authority. He has made it perfectly clear he is a firm believer in separation of powers.

Manchin has said his primary concern about Kavanaugh involves how he would stand, as a justice, on health care issues. Specifically, Manchin has said he worries about insurance for Mountain State residents with pre-existing conditions.

It is not the Supreme Court’s responsibility — or, constitutionally, even within its power — to determine how insurance companies operate or whether taxpayers will subsidize coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, however. The court decides only the constitutionality of laws that have been enacted.

If those in place now are unconstitutional, they should be overturned by the high court.

In that event, it would be up to Congress — including Manchin and other Democrats — to craft new insurance provisions that help those with pre-existing conditions in a constitutional manner.

Placing Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court would serve the nation — and, more particularly, West Virginians, well. Manchin should vote in favor of him.