West Virginia's Joe Manchin III, a top Senate Democrat, told "The Weekly Standard" on Tuesday that he will not join any Senate filibuster of President Trump's nominee to replace late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Speaking to the magazine before Judge Neil Gorsuch was chosen that evening, Manchin said "I'm not going to filibuster anybody."

After Gorsuch's nomination, Manchin released a statement urging colleagues to "put partisan politics aside and allow the vetting process to proceed." 

Manchin's initial statement contrasts with the sentiments of members of Senate Democratic leadership like Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who said he would fight against any nominee "not in the mainstream."


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Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon said he planned to filibuster any nominee other than Judge Merrick Garland, former President Obama's nominee who failed to receive a hearing before Trump took office.

Merkley said confirming anyone but Garland would result in a "stolen" seat on the high court.

With only a 52-48 majority, Republicans need seven more Democrats to join Manchin in his refusal to support a filibuster in order to confirm Gorsuch.

Manchin is also among several Senate Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018 in states that awarded their electoral vote to Trump.

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