Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings Begin Despite Suppression of 100,000 Documents

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Confirmation hearings begin today for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s pick to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court. If he is confirmed, it would likely make the court the most conservative since the 1930s. Kavanaugh is 53 years old and could serve on the Supreme Court for decades. Critics warn his confirmation would lead to major rollbacks of civil rights, labor protections, environmental regulations, gun control measures, voting rights and reproductive rights, including possibly the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Just hours before the hearings were set to begin, a lawyer for former President George W. Bush released more than 40,000 pages of documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the White House Counsel’s Office between 2001 and 2003. He was also staff secretary in the White House from 2003 to 2006, before Bush appointed him to the US Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer tweeted Monday, quote, “Not a single senator will be able to review these records before tomorrow,” and he called for the hearings to be delayed. This comes as the Trump administration is withholding more than 100,000 pages of Kavanaugh’s records on the basis of presidential privilege. On Sunday, Senate Judiciary Committee member Dick Durbin joined in calls to delay the hearings.

SEN. DICK DURBIN: Assertion of executive privilege by the White House to take 100,000 documents and say the American people will not get a chance to see them, as they reflect on Kavanaugh’s background, is the first time in history. This denial of access to documents violates a rule that we thought was the tradition of the Senate under Senator Sessions and Senator Leahy, time and again, when it came to Obama nominees. They are suppressing these documents. If we’re lucky, we will see 6 percent — 6 percent — of all of the documents that have been…

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