After a marathon 13 hours of questioning on Wednesday, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings continued Thursday with more questions from the senators.
Protesters continued to punctuate the senators’ questions throughout the day, and a dozen or so of the girls Kavanaugh has coached on basketball teams showed up in the afternoon to support “Coach K.”
Here are the key takeaways from Kavanaugh’s final day before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
1. Booker’s ‘disclosed’ documents were a nothing burger—and a publicity stunt.
The morning began with the dramatic announcement by Sen. Cory Booker, D.-N.J., that “I am going to release [an e-mail from Kavanaugh’s record] about racial profiling, and I understand that the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate.” That decision earned Booker a stern rebuke from some Republican senators.
It turns out, however, that the documents Booker had discussed in the hearing and “released” had already been cleared for public release the night before. He wasn’t defying anyone.
So far, more than 350,000 pages of material from or about Kavanaugh’s professional work have been made available to the public. That’s more than for the past five Supreme Court nominees combined.
This week’s discussion about documents, however, has failed to clarify that different federal statutes set rules for handling different categories of material.
The Federal Records Act, for example, governs documents from Kavanaugh’s work as an associate independent counsel, while the Presidential Records Act governs the documents from his work as an associate White House counsel.
Most documents can be made publicly available right away, while others require more review but are still made available to the committee members and staff. That’s what the label “committee confidential” means.
Booker, apparently objecting to any documents being designated “committee confidential,” took matters into his own hands and released emails from Kavanaugh’s time serving in the White House counsel’s office. Booker gave the impression that this was a dramatic, defiant, and perhaps even dangerous step, saying: “This is about the closest I’ll probably ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment … [and] I’m knowingly violating the rules.”
Later in the day, Booker released more confidential documents. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has repeatedly invited senators simply to request public release of particular documents and proven that he’s willing to do so. Given that, Booker simply could have made a request rather than make this look more like a publicity stunt.
Read the full story from The Daily Signal
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