Kuhl's Hearing Strengthened Case Against Confirmation

Judiciary Committee to Vote This Week

As the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares for a May 8 vote on the confirmation of federal appeals court nominee Carolyn Kuhl, People For the American Way released an analysis documenting that at her April 1 confirmation hearing, Kuhl not only failed to resolve serious concerns about her record and legal philosophy, she also introduced serious concerns about her credibility by responding to senators’ questions with answers that, intentionally or not, were false and misleading. Although Kuhl corrected parts of her inaccurate testimony just last week, her hearing testimony shortchanged senators’ inquiry into her troubling actions in a number of important cases. As a result, Kuhl has failed to resolve serious questions about her record as a legal advocate and a state court judge.

“Carolyn Kuhl’s disturbing record gives senators ample cause to oppose her confirmation to the federal appeals court,” said People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas. “Add the serious credibility questions created by her misleading answers to senators, and this shouldn’t even be a close call. Carolyn Kuhl does not merit a lifetime position on the federal appeals court. The Judiciary Committee should reject her confirmation this Thursday.”

The report released today analyzes Kuhl’s April 1 oral testimony as well as written answers to post-hearing questions posed by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It documents that Kuhl refused to answer some questions, cut off some lines of inquiry with inaccurate answers to questions about her actions in key cases, and regarding other cases gave misleading answers that appear to contradict or evade previous statements made by Kuhl or her superiors.

“Kuhl’s testimony failed to resolve the serious concerns about her record on civil rights, privacy, reproductive choice, and access to justice,” said Neas. “Her belated and partial corrections of some of the facts were made in a time and manner that made it impossible for senators to follow up. Kuhl has refused to answer, evaded, and otherwise failed to resolve key questions about her nomination. This is not the kind of behavior we should be looking for in a federal judge, and it must not be rewarded by the Senate.”

Neas also noted that Kuhl’s nomination is being moved by Senate Judiciary Committee Orrin Hatch in spite of the fact that one of Kuhl’s home-state senators, Barbara Boxer, has not returned her “blue slip” on the nominee. Contrary to Sen. Hatch’s policy with respect to Clinton nominees, when a nomination could not move forward without the consent of both home state senators, Hatch is moving the Kuhl nomination over the strenuous objections of Sen. Boxer.

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Download a PDF of the Executive Summary of the Kuhl Post-Hearing Report40.8 KB
Download a PDF of the Kuhl Post-Hearing Report83.33 KB
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