Tuesday, June 22, 2010

White House Still Withholding 1600 Kagen Documents - GOP May Boycott Confirmation Hearings

The more we find out about Obama's prospective Supreme Court nominee, the less there is to like - which is precisely why the White House is stonewalling on releasing a number of documents dealing with her time in the Clinton Administration. So in response, the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee are apparently considering the unprecedented step of boycotting the hearings:

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, on Monday evening warned that Republicans may boycott the start of Elena Kagan's Supreme Court hearings if senators do not get to review scores of documents from the solicitor general's past.

"I don't feel like we're prepared yet," Sessions told POLITICO. "It's becoming more clear that this is not an easy thing to get ready this quick."

Sessions said there appeared to be 1,600 withheld documents, which cover Kagan’s time as a senior White House aide under President Bill Clinton but were not released because of confidentiality concerns. And he called for the Obama administration to at least provide key senators and staff with a chance to privately review the confidential documents so they could weigh in on the validity of the decision to withhold the documents.

Asked if Republicans would boycott the hearings if they did not get to review the documents, Sessions said: “If we feel like we can’t go forward with the hearings … because we don’t have sufficient documents, then yes, we may feel compelled to do whatever it takes to try to insist that the process be done right.”

If the GOP boycotts the hearings, they could still be held and there are certainly enough votes on the Judiciary Committee to move Kagan's nomination forward, and perhaps even enough to get her confirmed.But a GOP boycott would likely incur a firestorm of media attention, which something tells me is the last thing the Obama Administration wants right now.

The article also goes on to quote Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)on how many documents the committee has already received, blah blah blah.

But as Sessions points out, it ain't the quantity, but the quality and relevancy...especially when you're talking about a back room academic and political apparatchnik with no practical legal experience and a limited paper trail:

“Who gets to decide what’s private?” Sessions said. “President Clinton is involved in this and President Obama - and she did a lot of things like on the impeachment for Clinton, things that he may not want to be revealed that may be very important for the committee. I don’t know that; I'm just saying hypothetically. I'm worried about that many documents being withheld.”

We already know that Elena Kagan has some highly questionable anti-military and anti-Second Amendment stances, among other things. And as far as I'm concerned, the fact that she was President Obama's pick in the first place warrants suspicion in view of the other judicial nominees he's put out there.

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