Third in a series
(INDIANAPOLIS) – Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is still in doubt. But either Joe Donnelly or Mike Braun will be voting on other judicial nominees for the next six years.
In interviews which took place before the sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh, Donnelly and Braun talked about what they want to see in a justice — and what would cause them to vote against a future nominee.
Donnelly emphasizes he doesn’t have a litmus test. He says he’ll review the full record of any nominee — decisions, law review articles, speeches, and anything else that sheds light on a judge or attorney’s philosophy and character.
Braun sounds a similar note, saying he’ll look at how good a judge a nominee has been, regardless of judicial philosophy. There’ll be a presidential election two years after Indiana picks a senator, and Braun acknowledges he could be voting on a Democratic nominee, but says he won’t be an automatic no vote. He says the length and depth of the review process should allow senators to uncover any “flaws in your character or your way of thinking judicially.”
Donnelly’s only Supreme Court vote so far was in favor of President Trump’s first appointment, Neil Gorsuch.
Since 1950, Indiana senators have voted against Supreme Court nominees nine times, all of them nominees by presidents of the opposite party. Democrats Birch Bayh and Vance Hartke voted against three Nixon nominees: future Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Clement Haynsworth and Harrold Carswell, both of whom were rejected by the Senate. Democrat Evan Bayh voted against both of George W. Bush’s nominees, John Roberts and Samuel Alito. And Republican Richard Lugar voted no on Clinton nominee Stephen Breyer.
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