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Sen. Manchin becomes first Democrat to announce support for President Trump's SCOTUS pick

Sen. Joe Manchin, the Democratic lawmaker from West Virginia who has been known to support the GOP's agenda, announced Thursday he will vote in favor of President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. Manchin is the first Democrat to announce support for Gorsuch.

"Senators have a constitutional obligation to advice and consent on a nominee to fill this Supreme Court vacancy and, simply put, we have a responsibility to do our jobs as elected officials," Manchin said in a statement. He said that after meeting with Gorsuch and watching him testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he has found him to be "an honest and thoughtful man." "I hold no illusions that I will agree with every decision Judge Gorsuch may issue in the future, but I have not found any reasons why this jurist should not be a Supreme Court justice," Manchin said.

Many Democrats, still frustrated by Republicans' refusal to grant a hearing to former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick, have vowed to oppose Gorsuch. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced last week after Gorsuch's hearing that he would vote against Gorsuch's confirmation. He requested that Democrats join him in blocking an up-or-down vote on Trump's pick.

Even with Manchin's support, Republicans still fall short of the 60 votes needed to secure Gorsuch's confirmation. If Republicans can't get an additional seven Democrats to support Gorsuch, they may resort to the "nuclear option" of eliminating the Supreme Court nominee filibuster.