Indiana Sen. Donnelly Could Be Swing Vote On Trump's Supreme Court Nominee

Up for re-election this year, Democrat Joe Donnelly could side with Republicans in confirming Brett Kavanaugh.

Brett Kavanaugh

(Undated) - Call it the spotlight. Call it crosshairs. Either way, Indiana U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly is again in it as a Senate confirmation of a new U.S. Supreme Court justice looms.

President Donald Trump on Monday announced federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the nation’s highest court.

A Democrat in a state which voted overwhelmingly for Trump two years ago, Donnelly is up for re-election this year. He has not ruled out voting for Kavanaugh.

"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," Donnelly said in a statement.

The first-term senator was one of just three Democratic Senators who voted to confirm Trump’s first Supreme Court selection, Neil Gorsuch, last year.

Donnelly declined an offer to attend last night’s announcement at the White House.

Indeed, the pressure will be on Donnelly and other red state Democrats to perhaps buck their party’s wishes and confirm Trump’s nominee. According to Politico, the Judicial Crisis Network is planning to run ads targeting Donnelly, North Dakota Senate Heidi Heitkamp, and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia to vote for Trump's pick.

Donnelly’s challenger in the November general election is pro-Trump Republican businessman and former state lawmaker Mike Braun. Braun said Monday that the president has chosen another outstanding justice in Kavanaugh.

“His credentials are impeccable – he has already served with distinction as an Appellate Judge on the prestigious Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia – and he will interpret the Constitution as written rather than legislate from the bench,” Braun said.

“I am sure Senator Donnelly will eventually say that he will vote for him, because it is an election year. But I can immediately say without hesitation that I would support this nomination and I hope the Senate moves quickly to confirm the President’s choice.”

Indiana’s other U.S. Senator, Republican Todd Young, did not immediately throw his support to Kavanaugh’s confirmation Monday. Young said the nominee is a well-respected judge with a strong record of honoring the Constitution and upholding the rule of law.

“I look forward to conducting a thorough and objective review of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination over the coming weeks, and I am hopeful that my colleagues will give him the same courtesy,” said Young.

More from Local News


  • Hillforest Museum Open for Tours

    Hillforest Victorian House Museum was the home of industrialist and financier Thomas Gaff and his family between 1855 and 1926.

    at Hillforest Museum
  • 4-H for Everyone: Your place to belong!

    Celebrate National 4-H Week by enrolling in 4-H beginning October 1st. Dearborn County 4-H is looking for youth and adults to join our 4-H family. 4-H is a Positive Youth Development program of Purdue Extension serving all youth grades K-12 and you don't need to live on a farm to participate! Youth participate in club activities, special interest or afterschool programming, 4-H camp and more. Families can choose their level of participation. 4-H participation builds leadership and other life skills youth need to be successful. Develops belonging independence, mastery and generosity, is hand on and family friendly! If you have questions about the 4-H program, please contact Liz Beiersdorfer, or call 812-926-1189.

  • The Witches of Breakout

    The Witches National Convention was held in our room last night! We found out that they made plans to turn everyone who isn't a witch into a black cat or a bat. They locked the spell they need in the Breakout EDU box. The Spell was written in magic ink, and if it stays in the box for more than 45 minutes, it will be cast! If we can open the box before the 45 minutes are up, contact with air will break the spell. Work together to unlock the boxes and undo the magic of the Witches of Breakout! Registration required; limited spots available for individuals and groups. Must register: 5 p.m. & 7 p.m. (two sessions) Friday, Oct. 22, Lawrenceburg Main Library. 812-537-2775. Tweens and Teens. Free.

    at Lawrenceburg Public Library District

Lawrenceburg Community Schools To Host Veterans Day Parade

The parade will travel through downtown Lawrenceburg and each Lawrenceburg school campus.

Operation Belt Up Activated To Address Declining Seat Belt Use

The Franklin/Ripley County Safety Partnership is working to address the issue with a three-week enforcement campaign.

INDOT To Host Statewide Hiring Event; Aurora Sub-District A Host Site

The hiring event takes place Thursday, October 28.

EC, L'Burg, Batesville Soccer Stars Help Make Up ISCA All-District Teams

Nine players from Eagle Country were recognized this week.

ORVC Medalist Hailey Hines Highlights 2021 ORVC Girls Golf All-Conference Team

Hines carded an 82 at the conference meet in September.

On Air

Your Hometown Radio Station playing
Keith Urban - Blue Ain't Your Color

Trace Adkins Every Light in the House Is On 3:36
Carrie Underwood Last Name 3:32
Devin Dawson All on Me 3:28
Craig Morgan This Ain't Nothin' 3:24