In response to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley’s announcement today that the hearing on Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been scheduled despite the extraordinarily thin and incomplete provision of relevant records, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement.
“Today’s scheduling of Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing is just the latest shameful example of Senate Republicans changing long-established institutional norms and practices to advance their extreme agenda. Nothing could be more central to the Senate’s constitutional role than the thorough vetting of a Supreme Court nominee for a lifetime seat on the Court. Yet Senate Republicans, under the leadership of Chuck Grassley and Mitch McConnell, have deployed the least transparent, most corrupt process for that vetting that we have seen. In doing so, they have made it clear that they are more interested in rubber stamping Trump’s nominee than in providing adequate vetting.
“Even by their own recent standards, the corruption and hypocrisy from Chuck Grassley and Mitch McConnell are mind-boggling. When President Obama nominated Justice Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, Grassley and Senate Republicans emphasized the need to review Kagan’s full White House record to determine her qualifications as a justice and no claims of executive privilege were made to withhold documents. Yet today they announce hearings despite the fact that the Committee will have access to records from only two of the five years of Kavanaugh’s White House service, and even those records will be cherry-picked and sanitized by a political operative who spent time as Kavanaugh’s deputy in the White House. It should not be surprising that the American people are demanding to know: what are they hiding?
Taken together, these developments indicate a flagrant disregard for the institutional norms in place for vetting Supreme Court nominees. Grassley and Senate Republicans have proven that they are the latest bad actors in the culture of corruption that has proliferated in the Trump era.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.