Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, who has called himself a pro-life Democrat but has a voting record supporting abortion, says he will vote against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Donnelly says he will oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination due to sexual assault allegations that accuser Christine Ford has provided no evidence or proof to substantiate and whom witnesses say never happened.
After waiting months to weigh in on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Democratic Sen.Joe Donnelly on Friday said he was opposing the nomination after considering the sexual assault allegations against the judge.
Donnelly’s decision came hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee was expected to vote along party lines to send the nomination to the full Senate. Donnelly, in a tight Indiana race for re-election to a second term, was among a handful of senators who had remained undecided and whose votes could be key in deciding Kavanaugh’s fate.
“As I have made clear before, sexual assault has no place in our society,” Donnelly said in a prepared statement. “When it does occur, we should listen to the survivors and work to ensure it never happens again.”
Donnelly faces a challenge in November from pro-life candidate Mike Braun, who responded to Donnelly’s decision to oppose Kavanaugh.
Braun, a businessman from Jasper, said Friday he continues to strongly support Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“This entire process has been an embarrassment to our democracy as Hoosiers watched firsthand how Senator Donnelly’s liberal colleagues used uncorroborated allegations to create a media circus designed to smear and destroy Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation. Donnelly’s decision to oppose President Trump’s highly qualified nominee is a grave mistake, but proves he is more concerned with standing with his liberal Democrat leaders than standing for Hoosiers.”
Republicans clearly hope to use the decision against Donnelly. The Indiana GOP issued a statement on Twitter shortly after Donnelly’s announcement criticizing his stance while including the hashtag #ConfirmKavanaugh.
“Democrat Joe Donnelly just turned his back on Hoosiers & will vote against confirming President Donald Trump’s well-qualified nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh” the Indiana GOP Tweeted.