Senator Donnelly to Vote “No” on KavanaughPosted on: September 28, 2018, by : Jeff Turner
By Jeff Turner
Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly will vote against the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. In a statement released this morning, Donnelly said:
“I do not view Supreme Court nominations through a partisan lens, which is why I have used the same thorough process to evaluate nominees regardless of who the President is at the time… As I have made clear before, sexual assault has no place in our society. When it does occur, we should listen to the survivors and work to ensure it never happens again. That should not be a partisan issue… 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… 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.” The statement concludes with: “While I would gladly welcome the opportunity to work with President Trump on a new nominee for this critically important position, if Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination comes before the full Senate for a vote under these circumstances, I will oppose it.”
Many Hoosiers were elated by this news, including many progressives and liberals.
“That’s what I needed him to do,” said Kim Saylor, from Indianapolis, in regards to Donnelly’s announced opposition to Kavanaugh. “He’s standing with women and with Democrats.”
“I think it’s a good decision. I am happy that he’s voting against Kavanaugh,” said Mike Denton, a moderate Democrat from Greenwood.
“(It’s) As it should be… It is unfortunate that in this state we even have to debate on whether or not to confirm this man (Kavanaugh). Donnelly is doing what is morally right, instead of just doing what the majority of Indiana wants. Its a tough line to cross in an election year, but one that has to be made in order to maintain a just and fair system of government to all people of the United States,” said Scott Donaldson, of Indianapolis.
Prior to the allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford about being sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh at a party more than thirty-five years ago, it appeared to many outside observers that Donnelly would in fact vote to confirm Kavanaugh. Donnelly, like other red state Democrats up for reelection in November faced a political dilemma, whether or not to vote for Kavanaugh in a state that went for Mr. Trump by almost twenty points in the 2016 Presidential Election. A great many liberals and progressives were lukewarm in their support for Donnelly in the upcoming midterms, some even stating they wouldn’t vote for him at all, considering him a “DINO” (Democrat in Name Only), should he vote to confirm Kavanaugh.
But after Thursday’s hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where both Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh gave separate testimony in regards to the allegations, Ford appeared to many watching to be a sincere, credible witness. Even certain Republicans were moved by her testimony. However, Kavanaugh’s harsh, angry, combative reactions to the questions of Senate Democrats made the SCOTUS nominee not appear to be an individual who would be a fair and impartial jurist should he be confirmed to the nation’s highest court.
The partisan divide in this country was made all the more painfully clear during the emotional proceedings on Thursday, the behavior of both Senate Democrats and Republicans rather theatrical. But it appeared to be Kavanaugh’s harsh, combative, and hostile testimony that ultimately persuaded Donnelly, and most likely other red state Democrats who have yet to announce how they intend to vote, to come out in opposition to the nomination.
Most recent polls in Indiana have Donnelly with a slight lead over GOP challenger Mike Braun. And his decision to vote no on Kavanaugh may well be what allows him to be reelected, as it has energized Democrats previously apathetic towards voting for him.
The Kavanaugh vote will likely be along party lines, as previously undecided Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona announced that they would vote for the nominee. However, early this afternoon, Flake called for a delay in having the final vote on the Senate floor until an FBI investigation is conducted in regards to Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh. Whether the results of this investigation would possibly convince Donnelly to change his “no” vote remains to be seen. As of now, however, he is a solid “no” vote.