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The Wrong Vote on Kavanaugh Could Doom Donnelly Campaign

Why a "yes" vote on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh is so critical to Donnelly's hopes for re-election

Photo Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images

Last year, when President Trump nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, Senator Joe Donnelly was one of only three Senate Democrats who voted for Gorsuch’s confirmation.  So far, Senator Donnelly has been non-committal in his public comments regarding Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.   Yet Donnelly is one of only a handful of Democrats in the Senate who have expressed a willingness to meet with Judge Kavanaugh prior to an anticipated confirmation vote (a meeting that is scheduled to occur today). Because Senator Donnelly is up for reelection this November, he would do well to set aside partisan politics and resist the considerable pressure from Democratic leadership in Congress and vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States.

In Indiana, Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election with a margin of almost twenty percent.  Many observers credit the huge turnout of Trump supporters for a Republican sweep of every elected office at the state level, including Governor Holcomb's victory over John Gregg, as well as Todd Young's defeat of once-heavily-favored Evan Bayh for U.S. Senate.  Many of us voted for Donald Trump in very large part because we trusted Trump to nominate Supreme Court justices who would uphold the legacy of Justice Scalia as a strict constructionist of the United States Constitution and a defender of our right to keep and bear arms. 

In this environment, Sen. Donnelly should be extremely wary of the reaction of Hoosier voters if he votes against the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh.  Although Sen. Donnelly often touts his voting record on gun control issues and his "A" rating from the National Rifle Association - Hoosiers should communicate to him in no uncertain terms that a vote against the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh on the floor of the Senate will be seen as an all-out assault on our Second Amendment rights and the relinquishment of any standing to claim a pro-Second Amendment record during his campaign for reelection in 2018.  In this context, the Senator should also keep in mind how Hoosiers feel about our right to bear arms - as Indiana leads all states in the percentage of adults (a/k/a voters) with a license to carry handgun.

And there is simply no legitimate reason for Senator Donnelly to vote against Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. His rulings and opinions while a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit show that he is fully qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.  Judge Kavanaugh rules strictly according to the text and the history of the United States Constitution, including the literal meaning of the Second Amendment. He has repeatedly and consistently ruled in favor of citizens’ right to bear arms, applying the original intent of the founders when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791.

Should Judge Kavanaugh be confirmed, our Second Amendment rights will be in good hands (Constitutionally speaking) as several high-profile Second Amendment issues are expected to be taken up by the Supreme Court in the next few years – including the Constitutionality of so-called “assault weapons bans” (Judge Kavanaugh has already ruled that broad bans on semi-automatic weapons are unconstitutional) and whether there is a Constitutionally-protected right to carry a firearm outside the home.

During The Gun Guy Show on Saturday, August 11, I called for Hoosiers to contact Senator Donnelly and demand that he vote in favor of Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation.  The podcast for that show can be heard here - and the discussion on Sen. Donnelly begins at 48:30.  

Please contact Sen. Donnelly and tell him your thoughts on the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh:

Email:  https://www.donnelly.senate.gov/contact/email-joe%20

Phone:  (317) 226-5555

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