Published: Mon, August 13, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Watchdog Groups Call for Access to All Records of SCOTUS Nominee Kavanaugh

Watchdog Groups Call for Access to All Records of SCOTUS Nominee Kavanaugh

Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will begin on September 4, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced in a statement on Friday.

The memo provides greater insight into Kavanaugh's views on executive power that are expected to feature prominently in the Senate confirmation hearings.

He further touted the nominee as a mainstream judge with a record of "applying the law as it is written". Meanwhile, most of the White House records related to Kavanaugh are being held on a "committee confidential" basis, with just 5,700 pages from his White House years released this week to the public.

But he says he won't make a decision until after Kavanaugh faces a hearing from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans want Kavanaugh on the bench as early as the first of October, before the court starts its next term.

Every day, Republican obstruction of Kavanaugh's record gets worse and worse.

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Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn criticized Democrats who oppose Kavanaugh's confirmation in a statement.

Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director for the Judicial Crisis Network, which has already launched ads in support of Kavanaugh's confirmation, said the Democrats' anger was just their attempt to stall the nomination. The committee acknowledged that the Bush screening team decided which records to disclose for public review, a move panned by Democrats.

July 31: Senate Judiciary Democrats request all available documents from Brett Kavanaugh's time in the White House (2001-2006).

"As I said after his nomination, Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most respected jurists in the country and one of the most qualified nominees ever to be considered by the Senate for a seat on our highest court".

The National Archives and Records Administration released the documents Friday.

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When Justice Elena Kagan was nominated for the Supreme Court, she had also served as a counsel in a presidential administration, and accordingly, the Senate Judiciary Committee paused for almost a month to review the documents related to her service as counsel in the Clinton and Obama Administrations, releasing over 170,000 pages of information, including every email Justice Kagan wrote while serving in the White House.

"It means that the chairman is telling the American people that this hearing is barreling forward, no matter what, no matter how little information is available to the Senate and public or how many shortcuts the committee has to take", she said.

But the documents have been a major point of contention in the Senate.

Democratic leaders objected to the schedule, since it indicates Republicans have no intention of releasing documents from 2003 to 2006 in time for the hearing. This process gives an unfair advantage to senators supporting Judge Kavanaugh's nomination, at the expense of a fully transparent process that allows for full disclosure and scrutiny by all voting lawmakers.

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