President Donald Trump is expected to announce his decision on who he will nominate to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in the Supreme Court Monday evening, and Alabama Senator Doug Jones has stated he is open to voting in favor of the new Justice.
“I’m open to voting yes. I’m open to voting no. We don’t know who the nominee is going to be yet,” Jones told CNN on the State of the Union Sunday morning. “I don’t think my role is to rubber stamp for the President, but it’s also not an automatic knee-jerk no, either.”
As of Monday morning, Trump’s top contenders for the vacant Justice seat are federal appeals judges Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge.
Trump’s choice is predicted to begin a battle in the Senate between Democrats who are warning that the development may lead to changes on issues such as abortion rights and gay rights; and Republicans who are eager to win a majority in the court.
“We’re going to give them a very, very good, hard and fair look to determine what I believe to be the best interest of my constituents, but also the country,” Jones continued. “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.”
Jones beat out former Chief Justice Roy Moore in the December 2017 special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat previously occupied by Attorney General Jeff Sessions
. Since then he’s caused a few controversies within the Alabama Legislature; to the point that the Alabama State Senate passed a resolution condemning his January vote against legislation banning late term abortions,
but says he believes the rhetoric on both sides of the aisle isn’t helping.
“I would prefer they don’t do that. I would prefer the Republicans would not say they automatically will vote for someone. The problems we have now is a partisan divide. This has become a political issue instead of an independent judiciary. That’s not a good thing,” Jones said during the interview according to AL.com