Sen. Doug Jones says he won’t vote for any Supreme Court nominee before election day

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BIRMINGHAM, AL – DECEMBER 13: Senator-elect Doug Jones (D-AL) speaks during a December 13, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Jones stated that US President Donald Trump called him today to congratulate him on his victory. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

(WKRG) — Alabama Sen. Doug Jones says he will not vote for any Supreme Court nominee before election day.

In a tweet published Friday, Jones said, “I will not be a party to Mitch McConnell’s power grab, I will not be a party to the further erosion of the institution of the Senate, and I will not be a party to denying the people a voice in this process through the election of the next President of the United States.”

Republicans are expecting President Donald Trump to choose Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee for the Supreme Court. The announcement is expected to be made Saturday.

Read Jones’ full statement below:

“Justice Ginsburg was a role model and an inspiration. She was a brilliant and tireless advocate, a champion for fairness and equality, and her efforts have brought our country closer to the ideals upon which it was founded.

“It is a poor reflection of the state of our national politics that, just hours after Justice Ginsburg’s passing, we were thrust into a divisive partisan fight over her successor, denying the nation the time to mourn this extraordinary American’s death. Just weeks from a national election, we are confronting a blatant power grab by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the President that will undermine the court and subvert the will of the American people.  

“Just four years ago, Leader McConnell held open a Supreme Court seat for ten months before a presidential election because he said time and again that, in an election year, we must let the American people decide. If confirming a Supreme Court justice ten months prior to a presidential election would have denied the American people a voice, then isn’t he now denying the American people a voice by rushing to confirm a justice just weeks before a presidential election?

“I believe the answer to this question is a resounding YES. This is especially true given the urgent legislative work we have yet to do.

“Leader McConnell should turn his focus instead to protecting the lives and livelihoods of the American people by bringing a new bipartisan COVID-19 relief package up for a vote. We also need to pass the National Defense Authorization Act to support our military. We need to pass our annual funding bills instead of kicking the can down the road with yet another costly continuing resolution. We need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which has languished in this Senate, in order to protect the right of all Americans to vote and participate in our democracy.

“Consequently, under these circumstances, I will not support the confirmation of any Supreme Court justice nominee before the election. We should not force the country into a brutal and divisive partisan confirmation fight while Americans are already voting to choose the next President. 

“If President Trump is re-elected, I will evaluate any pending or future nominee on their merits and vote for or against the nominee based solely on their qualifications.”

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