Key Democratic Senator Announces Opposition To Kavanaugh

A Democratic Senator up for re-election in a state President Donald Trump won by nearly 20 percentage points in 2016 announced his opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court on Friday.

Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., was one of just a few Democratic Senators that were seen as potential supporters of Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Citing an inability to obtain all the necessary information about sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, Donnelly said he has “deep reservations” about the federal appeals court judge’s nomination to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court.

“Only 113 people have ever served on the Supreme Court, and I believe that we must do out level best to protect its sanctity,” Donnelly said in a statement.

He added, “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.”

Montana Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont., another red state Democrat up for re-election, also revealed Friday that he will vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Tester cited the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh as well as concerns about the judge’s defense of the Patriot Act and his support for “more dark money in politics.”

“Unfortunately, Judge Kavanaugh couldn’t find time to discuss these concerns with me in person, so the only information I have is from what he said in his hearings,” Tester said in a statement. “I’ll be voting against him.”

Democratic Senators Doug Jones, D-Ala., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who both represent states Trump won in 2016, have also recently announced their opposition to Kavanaugh.

Donnelly was one of just three Democratic Senators to vote to confirm Trump’s previous Supreme Court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Senators Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., also voted in favor of Gorsuch’s confirmation but have not yet revealed whether they will support Kavanaugh.

The final decisions by Manchin and Heitkamp may partly hinge on whether Republican Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, decide to support Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Republicans need just 50 votes to confirm Kavanaugh, as Vice President Mike Pence would be called to vote to break a potential 50-50 tie.

The announcement by Donnelly comes as the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination this afternoon despite fierce opposition from Democrats.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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