David Sivak writes for the Washington Examiner about one Democratic senator’s important role in debates about the U.S. Supreme Court’s future.

Senate Democrats have rebuffed the Left’s attempts to give Justice Sonia Sotomayor the Ruth Bader Ginsburg treatment.

Members of the Judiciary Committee, tasked with approving her eventual replacement, have broadly dismissed a pressure campaign to send her into retirement and appoint a younger justice.

But it is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), progressives’ arch nemesis in the Senate, who is making the calls for her to resign mathematically implausible in a chamber Democrats control by a single vote. He told the Washington Examiner that he would not vote to confirm any Supreme Court justice who cannot attract Republican support.

The pocket veto, which he calls “my own little filibuster,” is not quite new. He imposed it for all judges in March. But it has taken on greater relevance as Sotomayor, who turns 70 in June, faces a wave of calls for her to step down before the end of President Joe Biden’s first term.

Progressives want to replace her with another liberal, fearing the doomsday scenario that befell Democrats when the 87-year-old Ginsburg died in the final months of Donald Trump’s presidency. But the unintended consequence of her retirement, were one other Democrat to join Manchin, could be the court lurching further right with a moderate taking her place.

Ginsburg was the third justice that Trump replaced, but her death cemented what became a 6-3 majority during his four years in office. The Supreme Court went on to gut liberal priorities, including five decades of precedent in Roe v. Wade

Sotomayor, by all accounts, is healthy despite a childhood diabetes diagnosis, and in Supreme Court terms, she is relatively young. Justices frequently decide to retire in their 80s. 

“She’s a pup around here,” the 76-year-old Manchin joked.