Friday in an interview that aired on FM Talk 106.5’s “Midday Mobile,” Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) explained the process as to how he will go about determining whether he will vote to confirm Supreme Court associate justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Jones denounced the advertising campaign underway meant to influence his decision and explained he had a significant amount of material to review before making his decision.
“I really believe the Constitution is set up in such a way that the Senate has a shared responsibility with the president for judicial nominations, and that’s particularly important for Supreme Court,” Jones said. “I think my job is to do an independent review. One of the problems in America I believe we have now is that everybody goes to their corners, and this is a political fight. I see the TV ads and the millions of dollars that are being spent like a political campaign.”
“We’re supposed to have an independent judiciary,” he added. “That’s why they’re there for life. It’s part of our checks and balances. And I think we’re in a really bad place when this has become political campaigns. So, I’m trying to block those kind of issues out – all of the extraneous stuff and do my due diligence. So we have been gathering information. Brett Kavanaugh has a large body of work, both as a judge and as a member of the Bush administration. I need to look and see as much as I can on that. We’re getting his opinions, his speeches. We’re looking at other records that we’ll be getting from the White House. Frankly, I think we may be rushing this a little bit too much because of the significant number of records. But that’s not my call.”
Jones confirmed his goal of meeting with Kavanaugh, saying he hopes to do so after the nominee appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“As of right now, I plan on waiting to meet with him,” he explained. “I do hope to meet with him, but my view is that I should wait until after the hearing – he has his hearing. I don’t want my meeting with him or any judge to be a meet-and-greet, or to be a photo-op. It needs to be a substantive meeting on questions that I’ve found, that I want to ask him on a variety of issues. So I would like to do that because some of them may be covered in a hearing. I may need a follow-up after that. Ideally, I would meet with him afterward, but we’re waiting to see when that hearing is going to be because I would like to be able to have that hearing, meet with him and then at that point try to do whatever I need to do to make my decision.”
Jones went on to acknowledge there was pressure from both sides on the Kavanaugh vote but vowed it would not be a determining factor in his decision.
“I don’t view my role that way,” Jones said. “I don’t succumb to the pressure. I don’t feel the pressure, because everybody knows the one thing I think I’ve established in my caucus, as well as Republicans up there, is I’m an independent voice up there, and I’m going to do the right thing. I’m not a rubber stamp for any president regardless of party, or any party regardless of where the nominee is coming from.”