Donnelly Finally Meets with Kavanaugh: 5 Things You Need to Know

Today, after facing pressure from Mike Braun to fulfill his duty to Hoosiers, Senator Donnelly will meet with President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Mike Braun released the following statement:

“After dragging his feet for a month, I’m glad Senator Donnelly is finally doing his job for Hoosiers and meeting with President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee,” said Mike Braun. “Rather than waiting for permission from the liberal-wing of his party to support him, I challenge Senator Donnelly to join the majority of Hoosiers – including myself – in immediately announcing his support for Judge Kavanaugh.”

Here are the 5 things you need to know about Senator Donnelly’s meeting:

1) After stalling on meeting with Kavanaugh, Mike Braun relentlessly pressured Donnelly to put aside political calculation and schedule a meeting.

Though Donnelly said he would take the same approach to Kavanaugh as he had with previous nominations, he joined his fellow Democrats in refusing to schedule a meeting with the nominee. Braun relentlessly pressed Donnelly to put Hoosiers above the interests of the Democrat Party. 

Donnelly quickly caved to pressure from Braun and scheduled a meeting a full 37 days from Kavanaugh’s nomination, a stark contrast to the 12 and 15 days he took to meet with previous nominees Merrick Garland and Neil Gorsuch .

As the Indianapolis Star reported:

“Sen. Joe Donnelly plans to meet with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Aug. 15 … Braun on Tuesday took credit for pressuring Donnelly to meet with Kavanaugh, saying in a statement that Donnelly caved to pressure from his campaign. ‘While I strongly support this nomination,’ Braun said. “I have no doubt Donnelly will wait until the liberal wing of his party gives him permission to support Judge Kavanaugh.” ( The Indianapolis Star , 07/24/18)

2) Donnelly’s top ally, Democrat leader Chuck Schumer, instructed Senate Democrats like Donnelly to ‘keep their powder dry’ on Kavanaugh

As POLITICO reports:

“Now Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer faces the monumental task of defeating Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and he’s counting on Manchin and a half-dozen other vulnerable Democrats to keep any hint that they might support the high court nominee to themselves. ‘All Chuck ever says in caucus [meetings], it’s pretty well known: ‘Keep your powder dry. Don’t commit. Stay as neutral as you can, as long as you can,’’ said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)” (Inside Democrats’ strategy to defeat Kavanaugh, POLITICO , 07/30/18)

3) A majority of Hoosiers share Mike Braun’s support for Brett Kavanaugh by a margin of 52% to 34%.

As the Daily Caller reports:

“The polls show voters favor Kavanaugh’s confirmation by a wide margin: 54 percent of Alabama voters,  52 percent of Indiana voters, 60 percent of North Dakota voters, and 55 percent of West Virginia voters answered affirmatively when asked if the judge should be confirmed to the high court. Results were similar among registered independents across all four states.  Perhaps more striking is the shallow opposition to Kavanaugh — just 30 percent of Alabama voters,  34 percent of Indiana voters, 22 percent of North Dakota voters, and 30 percent of West Virginia voters said the judge should not be confirmed.” ( Daily Caller, 07/23/18)

4) While Donnelly waits for Schumer’s approval to support Kavanaugh, Hoosiers are peppering him with questions about the nominee.

As the Washington Examiner reported:

“Of course, the first question posed to the incumbent [Democrat Senator Joe Donnelly] after he promised to always prioritize what’s best for Indiana over the Trump agenda, was about Brett Kavanaugh, the president’s Supreme Court nominee.” ( Washington Examiner, 08/13/18)

5) While Donnelly continues to wait for permission to support Kavanaugh, Majority Leader McConnell predicts he will be confirmed by October.

As the Washington Times reports:

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday he still wants to have Judge Brett Kavanaugh confirmed and sitting on the Supreme Court by the start of the new term in October. … ‘I think he’s going to be confirmed, hopefully before the first Monday in October,’ Mr. McConnell told WKDZ radio. Mr. McConnell said the process is ‘moving right along’ despite near-universal opposition from Democrats. ‘He’ll get confirmed. It won’t be a landslide, but he’ll get confirmed,’ the senator said.” ( The Washington Times, 08/10/18)