Alabama Dem vows 'independent judgment' on Trump Supreme Court pick

Alabama Dem vows 'independent judgment' on Trump Supreme Court pick
© Greg Nash

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) said Sunday that he is still mulling whether he will vote to confirm President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE's Supreme Court nominee.

"I think that I’ve got to look at this nominee," Jones said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I'm going to make an independent judgement. That’s my job."

Pressed on whether the red-state Democrat would vote to confirm Trump's nominee, Jones said it was improper to make an assumption on how he would vote based on his state's politics.

"I don’t think anyone should expect me to simply vote yes for this nominee just simply because my state may be more conservative than others," he said. "I think even the people of Alabama like to make sure they have judges that adhere to the rule of law."


Trump is expected to announce his pick to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump hints at new executive action on immigration, wants filibuster-proof Senate majority The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump MORE (R-Ky.) has called on the chamber to hold a vote on Trump's nominee before the midterm elections in November.

A vote on Trump's pick would likely put red-state Democrats in a tough position — voting against the nominee could isolate more moderate voters and cost them their seats in November, but voting to confirm the nominee could weaken their support among Democrats.

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin Graham GOP senator: Kavanaugh accuser 'moving the goalposts' Collins: Kavanaugh accuser should 'reconsider,' testify on Monday Grassley willing to send staff to California to speak with Kavanaugh accuser MORE (R-S.C.) predicted that Democrats from states that Trump won in the 2016 election will face "a very hard decision" on the president's Supreme Court pick, urging Republicans to rally behind the eventual nominee. 

And in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGrassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment MORE (D-Ill.) declined to say whether every Democrat in the chamber would oppose Trump's nominee, because the pick has not yet been announced.

He also disputed the notion that Senate Democrats would vote on the nominee with their reelection bids in mind.