Joe Donnelly is a pro-life Democrat waging an uphill battle for reelection in deep red Indiana this fall. Last year, he voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
This year, he will vote to reject Brett Kavanaugh’s.
“The allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh are disturbing and credible,” the Indiana senator said in a statement. “In the interest of getting as much information as possible, I believe the allegations should be investigated by the FBI. Unfortunately, despite having the time and opportunity to do so, Senator McConnell has refused to allow that FBI investigation … 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.”
On Thursday morning, Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both in high school, in sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. That afternoon, Kavanaugh testified to his innocence of that charge — while telling a series of demonstrable falsehoods — during a bizarre and bitterly partisan confirmation hearing.
Shortly after Donnelly’s announcement, Montana senator John Tester joined him in official opposition. Tester is also in a tight race for reelection in his red state this fall, although he is generally regarded to be in a somewhat safer position than Donnelly. Meanwhile, Joe Manchin — who currently has a much more comfortable polling lead than any of his colleagues from deep-red states — remains undecided. North Dakota senator Heidi Heitkamp, who is the single-most vulnerable red-state Democrat on the ballot this fall — but also, a staunchly pro-choice politician — has yet to announce her voting intention.
Last night, there were reports that Manchin, Donnelly, Murkowski, and Collins were all undecided, but intended to vote together, as a bloc. On Friday morning, Manchin’s office said that those reports were untrue.