Sen. Joe Donnelly says he won’t support Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Sen. Joe Donnelly (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Joe Donnelly, who faces a key midterm election in November, will not support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

The Democratic Indiana senator voted in favor of Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, for the nation’s highest court. But Donnelly expressed concerns about the process that brought Kavanaugh before the Senate and called the sexual assault allegations against the nominee “disturbing and credible.”

Kavanaugh appeared in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday in an unprecedented hearing that also saw his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, testify in front of senators. Donnelly, like many other Democratic lawmakers, called for the FBI to investigate the allegations.

Donnelly noted that the American Bar Association, which rated Kavanaugh as “well qualified” for the position, has called for a delay in his confirmation as well as an FBI investigation.

The senator released the following statement:

“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.

“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.”

Indiana Senate candidate Mike Braun (R), Donnelly’s opponent, issued this statement:

“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. I continue to strongly support Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.”