UPDATE: The right-wing organization Judicial Watch has filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Booker over release to the public of Kavanaugh documents designated only for Senate Judiciary Committee review. Booker remains defiant that he has done the right thing. And he has.
Cory Booker has now released 75 documents marked ‘committee confidential’ and not previously made available to the public, in Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court . Read them here.
Booker is now up to 8 installments of docs, beginning during the 3-day Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to the latest batch – 50 pages released Wednesday. These focus on Judge Kavanaugh’s involvement in the nomination of controversial federal judge Charles Pickering. Emails reveal Kavanaugh’s involvement in the judge’s nomination was significant and far-reaching, calling into question how truthful he was in 2006 testimony he gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Booker says, in which he seemed to indicate he wasn’t substantively involved. Pickering once defended a state law banning interracial marriage and campaigned for an avowed segregationist.
Pickering, and Fannie Lou Hamer: Pickering was a Bush nominee to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals whose history raised considerable question and opposition by Senate Democrats. Here’s a New Jersey factoid: Pickering switched parties (Dem to GOP) in 1964 after the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City. Fannie Lou Hamer’s speech to get the racially-integrated Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegates seated at that convention, where only white Democrats represented Mississippi, which was 40% black. Her speech was so righteous, so fierce, it made national news, and Hamer got a thunderous standing ovation when she became the first African American to take her rightful seat as an official delegate at a national-party convention since the Reconstruction period after the Civil War – and the first woman ever seated from Mississippi. Pickering called that ”humiliation and embarrassment” heaped upon the people of his state.
But I digress. Booker says the emails released yesterday show that Kavanaugh led critical aspects of the Pickering nomination for the White House Counsel’s office – coordinated meetings with and about Pickering; drafted remarks, updates for members of Congress, and at least one op-ed for AG Alberto Gonzales about Pickering; met with Senate staffers about Pickering’s nomination; liaised with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Senate Judiciary staff, staff of Congressman Chip Pickering (the Judge’s son), and other White House staff about Pickering; advised White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez on Pickering strategy; and more.
Racial profiling, affirmative action: The documents released by Booker contain emails reflecting Kavanaugh’s concerning views on racial profiling and affirmative action, and his support of a Bush administration figure notorious for his role in the infamous torture memos. They also shed new light on Kavanaugh’s relationship with Republican Senate Judiciary Committee staffer Manny Miranda, who stole documents from the Democratic staff of the Committee, as well as his involvement in the nomination of another controversial Bush-era judge, William Pryor, which Kavanaugh has repeatedly attempted to downplay.
Last month, all 10 Dem members on the Judiciary Committee, including Booker sent a letter to Chair Chuck Grassley, advocating for the full public release of the documents related to Judge Kavanaugh’s record that had been marked Committee Confidential. Senate Republicans did not respond to their request.