Action Alert

Tell Sen. Cornyn that you demand transparency from Supreme Court nominee

Please take immediate action to demand full transparency from the latest Supreme Court nominee!

We know that President Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, would be a disaster for the constitutional separation between state and church, but it may be even worse than we think.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn is considering abandoning the precedent of releasing documents prior to Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, which would force the Senate to vote on Kavanaugh without reviewing what is perhaps the most extensive paper trail of any nominee to the high court in history — there could be more than a million pages.
Senators need to see these records in order to make an informed decision on the most important judicial nomination of our lifetimes. Please use our automated system to contact Cornyn and tell him that you insist on a transparent Supreme Court confirmation process.

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There is a long history of allowing senators to review any documents that might shed light on a nominee’s fitness to be a judge, and this is more important for Supreme Court justices than any other position. Justice Elena Kagan was not put up for hearings until there was time to go through 170,000 pages of documents. Justice Neil Gorsuch did not get hearings until his 100,000-page records were reviewed. Hiding Kavanaugh’s extensive paper trail from senators would be unprecedented and extremely dangerous.

Cornyn’s attempts to stymie the Senate’s access to these records is especially alarming because other Trump judicial nominees have been derailed due to a paper trail that they tried to keep secret. Most recently, the White House withdrew the nomination of Ryan Bounds to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based on articles Bounds wrote as an undergraduate that ridiculed multiculturalism.

As Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, explained, “Mr. Bounds tried to hide these disparaging writings from his judicial selection committee, but they were brought to light by a third party. That’s why it’s important to see all relevant documents from a nominee’s life and career. You never know what you’ll find. #ReleaseTheRecords."

Further, Kavanaugh himself has a spotty history of transparency based on his prior confirmation hearing, where he may have misled the Senate about his role in the Bush administration’s terror-detainee policy, something Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., have not forgotten.

Senators must be allowed to see Kavanaugh’s records. Confirming a Supreme Court nominee without access to his or her record would deal a serious blow to the integrity of the U.S. Senate, which is supposed to provide well-informed “Advice and Consent” as a check on the president’s judicial nominees. If senators are denied access to Kavanaugh’s records, voting in favor of his confirmation anyway would admit that the Senate has abandoned both transparency and integrity.

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