MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama said he is keeping an “open mind” on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and is not worried about a flurry of advertising pressuring him to confirm or reject the nominee.
The Democratic senator told reporters Friday evening that he wants to do his “due diligence” on Kavanaugh’s work.
“I want to keep an open mind on every aspect of it and look at a number of different things,” Jones said.
Jones said the one concern he has is getting documents out of the White House. Democrats have asked to see records from Kavanaugh’s time there as White House staff secretary to President George W. Bush. With past nominees, everything was “turned over” unless there was a technical reason that it should be privileged, Jones said.
“We need the information out of the White House,” Jones said. “We didn’t nominate him. The President did. He nominated him with a full knowing of his background. I would like to see them just say, ‘Look, OK, we will get this to you.'”
The conservative Judicial Crisis Network has launched advertising in Alabama pressuring Jones, a Democrat in a red-leaning state, to confirm Kavanaugh, saying the vote “will show who Doug Jones really is.”
Jones said he was not concerned about the advertising.
“I’m not worried about the ads. I tell folks, ‘Ads on both sides, they are really wasting their money.’ I have a process I’m going through to do what I think is my job and ads from interest groups really don’t mean that much to me at all,” Jones said.
After graduating law school in 1979, Jones worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee during his time as a staffer to the late Sen. Howell Heflin. He said the process today is “much, much, much, much more political” and partisan.
“That’s very unfortunate. The framers of the Constitution wrote in an independent judiciary. And it’s hard to see how a Supreme Court is considered independent when you see so much money spent on advertising to get 51 votes,” Jones said.