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People For the American Way

Democrats’ Civil Disobedience for American Values at the Sham SCOTUS Hearing

No Supreme Court confirmation process has been infected with corruption at this scale in modern times, perhaps ever

"Sens. Booker and Hirono specifically stated that they were releasing specific relevant “committee confidential” documents regardless of the illegitimate designation." (Photo: Screenshot)

"Sens. Booker and Hirono specifically stated that they were releasing specific relevant “committee confidential” documents regardless of the illegitimate designation." (Photo: Screenshot)

The GOP’s effort to sell the Brett Kavanaugh hearings as legitimate crumbled even further as soon as Day Three began.

Chairman Grassley insisted the “committee confidential” process was fair and gave all senators plenty of time to make certain documents public. He read from a memo he claims to have sent to all members on August 22, setting a deadline for August 28 for them to submit requests for specific documents to be re-designated as publicly available.

So when thousands of records were dumped hours before the hearing began, senators were supposed to have asked Grassley for permission to re-designate specific documents by nearly a week earlier?

Democratic senators pointed out that the secret documents have nothing personal, nothing implicating national security, nothing at all sensitive—except that they reveal unflattering aspects of Kavanaugh’s record that would make it all the more clear that he should not be confirmed.

Sens. Booker and Hirono specifically stated that they were releasing specific relevant “committee confidential” documents regardless of the illegitimate designation. Booker, announcing the release of documents on Kavanaugh and racial profiling, accurately called this civil disobedience.

Other Democrats agreed, making clear they do not accept the legitimacy of this hearing and of the “committee confidential” process. Ranking member Dianne Feinstein states that 190,000 documents have been so designated.

It has been clear from the start that this is a partisan process, designed to hide rather than reveal the nominee’s record.

  • After meeting with President Trump, Grassley chose not to ask the National Archives to provide records from Kavanaugh’s three years as George W. Bush’s staff secretary, a job of importance and substance that Kavanaugh himself has called relevant to his qualifications.
  • Although the National Archives informed Grassley that they could not begin providing records until early October, Chairman scheduled the hearing for early September.
  • Instead of getting records from the nonpartisan Archives, it’s Kavanaugh’s fellow Republican and former deputy Bill Burck who is deciding which documents will be released.

No Supreme Court confirmation process has been infected with corruption at this scale in modern times, perhaps ever.  It threatens democracy, and that is its purpose.

Let’s hear it for civil disobedience.

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Paul Gordon

Paul Gordon

Paul Gordon is People For the American Way’s senior legislative counsel, where he focuses particularly on matters relating to the federal courts, including the Supreme Court.

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