As Republicans push forward to give Brett Kavanaugh a lifetime promotion without investigating his character or mounting evidence that suggests he is a sexual predator, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley filed a lawsuit to halt the Kavanaugh confirmation process until Kavanaugh‘s full record is made available.
Merkely (D-OR) argued that the Trump Administration and other Republicans have conspired to withhold information, and by withholding substantial parts of Brett Kavanaugh’s record “have violated the constitutional separation of powers and hindered Senators from fulfilling their constitutional duty of advice and consent on the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
The lawsuit names as defendants Republicans President Donald Trump, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who it says “worked with the Trump White House to conceal documents,” as well as Kavanaugh lawyer William Burck, Julie Adams, Secretary of the Senate; and Michael Stenger, Senate Sergeant at Arms.
Merkley‘s suit charges:
1. The Defendants conspired to conceal from the Senate and public all of the documents from Kavanaugh’s three most formative professional years, as Staff Secretary in the George W. Bush White House.
2. The Defendants conspired to conceal 100,000 documents from Kavanaugh’s time of service as a lawyer in the White House Counsel’s Office under President George W. Bush. The Defendants empowered Mr. William Burck, a partisan lawyer with profound conflicts of interest, to utilize executive privilege on behalf of President Trump to block Senate access to the relevant documents.
3. The Defendants conspired to further limit access to documents by utilizing the services of William Burck to label 141,000 pages “Committee Confidential,” limiting the ability of Senators to speak about them and to communicate with experts and members of the public about the contents.
“The events of the past ten days have only underscored how critical it is that the Senate conduct a careful and comprehensive review of a nominee before giving its consent,” Merkley said. “But this President has gone to lengths never seen before to make sure we can’t do that job. The unprecedented obstruction of the Senate’s advice and consent obligation is an assault on the separation of powers and a violation of the Constitution. The President and Mitch McConnell want to ram through this nomination come hell or high water, without real advice or informed consent by the Senate, but that’s just not how our Constitution works.”
Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said, “At every turn, this process has been one shrouded in secrecy and is discordant with the process as laid out in the Constitution.”
Even with the credible accusations of three women hanging over their head, Republicans are pushing forward to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land- a huge, lifetime promotion, even though he has been caught lying during a confirmation process twice, and even though they don’t have any answers regarding the allegations because they refuse to investigate. Additionally, there are tens of thousands of documents Republicans have kept hidden from the public, contrary to normal procedure and their role to “advise and consent.”
This lawsuit appears to be based on arguments with merit, but it’s doubtful that any court will want to interfere in this process. Over and over again, we have seen the safeguards that are supposed to protect us from wild abuses of the constitution and a takeover by extremists fail in the wake of Donald Trump and his Republican enablers.
Merkley is right, what Republicans have done is wildly in contrast with their duty to the constitution and role.
Ms. Jones is the Editor-in-Chief of PoliticusUSA and a Huffington Post contributor. She has covered President Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton, VP Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including regular appearances on The Ann Walker Show With Scott Nevins for UBN Radio and KPTR 1450’s California Woman 411, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, The Richard Dawkins Foundation and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Latin and Psychology, including studying the psychology of organized crime, with graduate studies in the psychology of linguistics and Latin poetry.