During the senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, there has been what some have called a “circus” on full display, as well. Protesters and interruptions are among the complaints cited of bad behavior in the chambers.
Democratic senator Cory Booker has even upped the ante with an explosive claim. He said he was going to risk it all to do right by the public:
BREAKING: Sen. Cory Booker says he’s releasing emails "about racial profiling" to "expose" Kavanaugh docs "being withheld from public,” saying "I understand that the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate." ??pic.twitter.com/pM5DlTtUgS
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 6, 2018
Although Booker alleged the process was being rushed, a number of Democrats had already publicly stated they would arbitrarily vote “no” on Kavanaugh, before the hearings even began. On July 24, The HIll wrote that Booker appeared with Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren, both calling for Kavanaugh’s nomination to be soundly rejected.
“I’m here to call on folks to understand that in a moral moment, there is no neutral. In a moral moment, there is no bystanders. You are either complicit in the evil, you are either contributing to the wrong, or you are fighting against it.”
Despite this, Booker was present at the hearings and made his claim of insufficient time to thoroughly vet Kavanaugh. At one point, “Spartacus,” as he dubbed himself, threatened to release “damning” documents regarding Kavanaugh.
He later took to Twitter and did just that. It did not turn out as he most likely expected.
These are the 4 documents marked committee confidential that I brought up in my questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh last night –> https://t.co/2RZkY2FS9a
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) September 6, 2018
According to The Daily Wire, Booker’s aim was way off target if he was trying to prove some type of racism or racial profiling support on the part of Kavanaugh. The released documents “aren’t damning at all, unless Sen. Cory Booker considers opposing racial profiling in the wake of a major terrorist attack a ‘controversial’ position.”
And it just gets worse for Booker. The Daily Wire went on to note that Republican senator Chuck Grassley has already “approved some of those confidential documents for release, and other documents leaked to The New York Times.”
And the bad news just kept rolling in for Booker. This time from former president George W. Bush’s public records lawyer, Bill Burck.
According to The Associated Press, Burck has been playing a role in the confirmation process — It’s been in handling relevant documents. This means he would know what was and was not cleared already and how many were involved.
“Before the Senate hearing Tuesday, Burck’s team announced it had largely concluded its document production, with more than 267,000 pages from Kavanaugh cleared for public release. That’s more than any other court nominees, Republicans say, but far fewer than the 900,000 that National Archives initially estimated for the job.”
“In a letter to GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Burck’s team said that duplicate documents cut that number to some 600,000. An additional 174,000 pages were made available to the committee on a confidential basis and about 100,000 were personal.”
“While the letter says Bush sought to err on the side of openness and transparency, the Trump White House — separate from Bush — is withholding 100,000 pages on the basis of presidential privilege. Schumer called the White House’s move ‘a Friday night document massacre.’”
Booker was also roasted on Twitchy for his action. Most called out his “grandstanding” and “attention-grabbing” play.
None of that is likely the reaction he hoped to garner from the public, least of all on Twitter, where he released the documents.
Not to be outdone, Hawaii’s Democratic senator Mazie Hirono also released her own document. It was published on her senate webpage.
Her document dump consisted of an email exchange between multiple parties, with Kavanaugh having only limited comment in it. It read, “I think the testimony needs to make clear that any program targeting Native Hawaiians as a group is subject to scrutiny and of questionable validity under the Constitution.”
So, just as with Booker’s document reveal, any intent to show racism or support for racial profiling backfired. Spectacularly.
It is the constitutional duty of the senate to vet supreme court nominees. But that is a far cry from what has been going on in the hearings and certainly not something seen in the form of a preemptive decision to make a “no” vote, prior to any kind of vetting is done.
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