Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) became the second Senate Democrat to meet with President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday.
Sen. Donnelly became the second Senate Democrat to meet with Judge Kavanaugh. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the first Senate Democrat to meet with Kavanaugh. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) plans to meet with the Supreme Court nominee later on Wednesday afternoon.
— Senator Joe Donnelly (@SenDonnelly) August 15, 2018
Donnelly said in a statement on Wednesday:
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.
The Hoosier Democrat did not say in his press release whether he plans to vote to confirm Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. However, he did say that he intends to “keep doing my homework and make a decision sometime after Kavanaugh’s committee confirmation hearing.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to hold a confirmation hearing on September 4 to begin consideration of Kavanaugh’s credentials to become an associate Supreme Court Justice.
Sen. Donnelly’s office said he plans to use the same approach he did for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch. Donnelly, Heitkamp, and Manchin broke with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice nominee Gorsuch last year.
The Indiana Democrat faces an increasingly competitive race against Indiana businessman Mike Braun. One poll has Braun beating Donnelly in the Indiana Senate race.
Sen. Donnelly caved last week and suggested that he will support funding President Trump’s proposed border wall in a September spending bill.
“I’m fine with providing him some more. I actually voted for border wall funding three different times,” Donnelly told Politico last week. “I’m fine with that. I’m fine with $3 [billion], $3.5, $4 or $5” billion this fall.