Archives Can't Deliver Reams of Kavanaugh Docs Fast Enough for GOP

03 August, 2018, 20:12 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Amy Coney Barrett at her Senate confirmation hearing in 2017

Republicans downplayed the National Archives' announcement, in part because of the separate ongoing Bush review, with a spokesman for Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley signaling the committee still plans to hold confirmation hearings in September.

Earlier this week, Burck wrote to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) that Bush asked his legal team to begin reviewing Kavanaugh's records to help "expedite the committee's access to the records", as a "courtesy" to senators.

The GOP statement said the committee was counting on receiving documents "in an even more rapid fashion" from the archives of the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

However, it should be possible to get the documents to Senators much more quickly than the Archives review process permits. The Archives says it will be able to review only about one-third of them by mid-August, the time by which Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley said he wanted to receive the entire load.

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This would give the Senate enough time to confirm Kavanaugh by the end of the year, but would mean that he could not participate in a large chunk of the Supreme Court's docket next term. More than 50 lawyers from three different firms are participating.

After the Archives combs through all of the estimated 900,000 pages, more vetting would have to occur. "Roughly a million pages are already in the process of being made available". But with Senator John McCain battling cancer back home in Arizona, a single Republican defection could sink Kavanaugh if all Democrats stand in opposition.

Many Democratic senators have refused to meet with Judge Kavanaugh until nearly a million pages of documents related to his time working for the Bush administration are released.

Once Obama announced the nomination, however, Hatch joined the rest of the Republican Party in refusing to hold confirmation hearings for Garland, saying that the nominee should be chosen after the 2016 election, and not by a president who was on his way out of office.

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Democrats want the National Archives to release documents and emails from Kavanaugh's time as staff secretary, arguing it would shed light on his thinking about issues such as torture and surveillance.

Schumer added: "This unprecedented process appears to be designed intentionally by Republicans to deny the Senate and the American people the information they need to evaluate this critically important nomination". The veteran lawyer said in the letter to Schumer that his "representation of other clients in unrelated matters. has no bearing on the advice I provide to President Bush".

Republicans contend that a staff secretary job is more administrative, rather than substantive, and Democrats are simply engaging in a delay tactic to demand documents related to his time as staff secretary. They said it didn't even include Kavanaugh's 300 cases as an appellate judge. The almost 1 million-page paper trail related to Kavanaugh's time at the White House greatly exceeds that of both Justice Elena Kagan (170,000) and Chief Justice John Roberts (70,000), according to the archives.

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