MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama said Friday he will not support any U.S. Supreme Court nominee before the outcome of the presidential election this November.
“I regret I will not support the confirmation of any Supreme Court justice nominee, regardless of who it might be,” Jones said in a Facebook event. “I will not support that nominee before the outcome of the Nov. 3 election has been determined.”
President Donald Trump is expected on Saturday to announce a conservative nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The nomination comes weeks before the election between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, and a Senate confirmation vote could come in late October.
“Across the country, people want us to wait and let the next president, Trump or Biden, fill this vacancy,” Jones said.
Jones accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of orchestrating a power grab, noting that four years ago McConnell said he would wait until after the 2016 election to confirm a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Unlike the situation four years ago, Jones said people have already started voting through absentee ballot and early voting in the current election.
Jones accused McConnell of “leapfrogging” the confirmation over important legislation.
The Deep South Democrat faces a tough reelection bid in a state that heavily supported Trump in 2016. Jones faces Republican Tommy Tuberville in November.
Tuberville said Friday that he supported Trump filling the vacancy now and making a confirmation vote happen as soon as possible.
“The next Supreme Court justice could open the door to finally overturning Roe v. Wade, protecting our gun rights and firmly securing the religious freedoms guaranteed to us by the First Amendment,” Tuberville said.
He said the issue highlights the differences between the two candidates.
“The election for U.S. Senate may well be decided on this issue alone," Tuberville said.