Joe Donnelly (D - IN) Definitely No 2018 election seat



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8 Statements
(Statements last updated October 6, 2018 04:02 PM -04:00.)

September 28: 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. (

September 19: “The more information we have, the better,” said Donnelly, joining his party’s leadership in calling for the FBI to investigate Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation. “It’s somebody who will be there likely for the next 40 years, so I try to err on the side of caution in getting it right.” Donnelly said he hopes both Kavanaugh and Ford will give sworn testimony Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he also would like to hear testimony from Mark Judge, a Kavanaugh childhood friend who Ford has said was in the room when the assault happened in the early 1980s, when she was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17. Judge has said publicly that he does not want to testify, but Donnelly said the committee should use its subpoena power to compel his testimony. Donnelly said if Ford’s story is deemed credible, Kavanaugh should be disqualified from consideration for the seat, since he already has denied the allegation to lawmakers, and the allegation is so serious. “If what Ms. Ford is saying is true, that’s sexual assault,” Donnelly said. “That’s an extraordinarily serious issue. I saw somebody talked about it as rough horseplay. Rough horseplay is not when the young lady thinks that because a hand has been put over her mouth, she might not get out of there alive.”...Many on the right have gone further than Braun’s “eleventh hour” comment, saying they don’t believe Ford’s story because she has waited more than 30 years to go public, in the final days before Congress was expected to vote on the nomination, strictly because she is a liberal who’s out to block the conservative Kavanaugh from the court. “I can’t think of a worse thing to say,” Donnelly said of such sentiments. “How do you put yourself in her shoes, when you’re 15 or 16 years old and you have this happen to you? There are contemporaneous notes from her psychiatrist from around 2012. She may well have been in a position of just trying to make it through the day and make it to tomorrow. That’s what we’re trying to figure out.” (South Bend Tribune)

August 15: I had a wide-ranging conversation and productive meeting with Judge Kavanaugh. This was an important opportunity to sit down and talk in-depth with Judge Kavanaugh about: his record; experience working in the Bush Administration and serving on the federal bench; and views on the role of the Supreme Court as well as on a range of issues including precedent, health care, and judicial independence. I take my responsibility as Senator to consider Supreme Court nominees very seriously and will continue a thorough review of Judge Kavanaugh’s record and plan to follow his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing closely. Hoosiers rightly expect careful and thoughtful consideration of a nomination to our nation’s highest court, and I plan to keep doing my homework and make a decision sometime after Kavanaugh’s committee confirmation hearing. (

August 6: News 18 reached out to Donnelly's office for comment. They say, “Senator Joe Donnelly has consistently said he would carefully review Judge Kavanaugh's record, meet with him, and follow his Senate confirmation hearing. The senator is continuing to thoroughly examine Judge Kavanaugh's record and looks forward to sitting down with him next week.” (Note: We have not yet confirmed the exact date of these comments, but they appear to have taken place on or around 8/6/2018.) (

August 3: The senator told the Tribune he is “following a process” that includes examining over 300 cases decided by Kavanaugh and each of the judge’s law review articles. Donnelly will then meet with the Supreme Court nominee on Aug. 15. “I’ll be spending time with him to go over all of these areas, and then we have the confirmation hearings as well,” he said. “After we put all of that information together, I’ll make a decision.” “I’m looking for judicial temperament to see how they handle it,” Donnelly added. “I’m looking for qualifications and I’m looking for impartiality. Those are the things I’m looking for.” (Kokomo Tribune)

July 10: Sen. Joe Donnelly, vulnerable Indiana Democrat, says he has to vet Kavanaugh’s record. But whether pre-existing conditions can still be covered under the ACA will be a “central part” of nomination, he told me, noting he supported the law to expand coverage for his constituents (Twitter)

July 10: I work for the people of Indiana and I want them to have a voice in this ... People have said 'do you feel pressure?' and I don't ... When I spoke with Justice Gorsuch, when I reviewed his writings, when I reviewed his court decisions, I became comfortable he wasn't extreme one way or the other. (WNDU)

July 9: As I have said, part of my job as Senator includes thoroughly considering judicial nominations, including to the Supreme Court. I will take the same approach as I have previously for a Supreme Court vacancy. Following the president's announcement, I will carefully review and consider the record and qualifications of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. (Twitter)


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