Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), a swing vote who risks losing his seat in the mid-term elections, has announced he will vote “No” on the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court “under these conditions.”
Following powerful testimonies from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday regarding sexual assault allegations from 35 years ago, all eyes turned on the potential swing votes to see where they will land should a vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court come to the Senate floor. At least two, GOP Sens. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, have announced they will vote “Yes” on Kavanaugh; Donnelly’s recently announced “No” vote is the first red state Democrat to hold the party line.
“I have deep reservations about Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to this lifetime position and, as I stated, we have been unable to get all the information necessary regarding this nomination, despite my best efforts. Only 113 people have ever served on the Supreme Court, and I believe that we must do our level best to protect its sanctity,” Donnelly said in a statement Friday morning
Donnelly said he simply did not have enough information to determine if Christine Blasey Ford was telling the truth that Kavanaugh assaulted her 35 years ago and called for an FBI investigation.
“My job as a Senator is to gather as much information as I can to make the best-informed decision. The allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh are disturbing and credible. In the interest of getting as much information as possible, I believe the allegations should be investigated by the FBI,” he said.
As noted by The Hill, Donnelly faces a tough re-election battle in his state of Indiana, Vice President Pence’s home state, which carried Trump by double digits in 2016. His refusal to back Kavanaugh will undoubtedly make the battle even tougher. Shortly after his announcement, his GOP mid-term opponent, Mike Braun, denounced his decision as a “grave mistake.”