Watch: Doug Jones vows to oppose hypothetical future Trump Supreme Court nominee
In a newly released video, Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) can be seen promising to do “everything” in his power to stop a hypothetical future Supreme Court pick nominated by President Donald Trump.
The video, originally tweeted out by Donald Trump, Jr. on Monday evening, captured a Democratic constituent at the senator’s University of North Alabama town hall last week posing a hypothetical situation to Jones about how he would react to Trump nominating someone to fill a Supreme Court vacancy from now through the end of the president’s current term.
Yellowhammer News has since obtained a link to the full clip of the relevant exchange, which lasts over three minutes.
Asked by the constituent what he would do “to make sure [a confirmation of that hypothetical nominee] doesn’t happen,” Jones responded, “I’ll do everything I can.”
Alabama’s junior senator from Mountain Brook continued to lament that Republicans are in charge of the Senate rather than Democrats led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), thus allowing the GOP to confirm qualified nominees.
“I can go to the floor and speak about it, I can raise hell about it, but under the rules, there is virtually nothing I can do — except try to shame him, which I’m sure that that will happen should we have that vacancy,” Jones decried.
He expressed hope that Democrats would retake the Senate in the 2020 election cycle, putting Schumer in charge of the chamber.
“[T]he majority leader has such power that there is not very much we can do [right now],” Jones advised.
“All we can do is speak up and speak out,” he added.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 8, 2019
Jones said that Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have both expressed their intent to treat a hypothetical Trump Supreme Court nominee before the 2020 election just as Justices Neil Gorsuch’s and Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation processes were handled.
“I think there’s a chance we’ll get another Supreme Court nominee before the 2020 election,” Jones advised.
He emphasized, “I wish I could do more, but I’m just one of 47 [Democratic Caucus] voices to say, ‘Stop. Hold on.'”
Jones voted against Kavanaugh’s confirmation but had not yet been elected to office at the time of Gorsuch’s confirmation.
Concluding his thought on the subject, Jones went as far as to say that the Supreme Court “is not really an independent judiciary right now.”
This comes in stark contrast to the outcomes of controversial, politically charged cases considered by the highest court in the land since Kavanaugh was confirmed in the fall of 2018. Both he and Gorsuch have sided with the left-leaning members of the court against Republicans, just as left-leaning members have sided with their right-leaning counterparts on other cases targeted by Democrats — at the end of the day, legal merits of cases are being considered by the justices over partisanship, despite handwringing from Jones and others.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn