By J. Taylor Rushing - 06/10/09 02:25 PM EDT
GOP senators on the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday tried a new strategy in the battle over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, writing directly to ask her to “revisit” her “incomplete” candidate questionnaire.
The letter, addressed to Sotomayor through the White House, says the 173-page questionnaire the nominee submitted last week has too many “apparent omissions.”
The letter was signed by ranking member Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsTrump hopes for boost from Brexit vote GOP senators: Brexit vote a wake-up call Sessions warns of 'radical' Clinton immigration policy MORE (Ala.), Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOvernight Tech: Judiciary leaders question internet transition plan | Clinton to talk tech policy | Snowden's robot | Trump's big digital push Dozens of senators push EPA for higher ethanol mandate Civil liberties group mobilizes against surveillance amendment MORE (Iowa), John CornynJohn CornynMcConnell tees up House Puerto Rico bill Dem senator urges support for House Puerto Rico bill GOP senator praises Supreme Court's abortion ruling MORE (Texas), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom CoburnTom CoburnCoburn: I haven't seen 'self-discipline' from Trump McCain: No third-party foes coming for Trump Tough choice for vulnerable GOP senators: Embrace or reject Trump MORE (Okla.), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchA bipartisan bright spot we can’t afford to pass up: child welfare reform Medicare trust fund running out of money fast Long past time to fix evidence-sharing across borders MORE (Utah) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamDefense contingency misuse threatens national security Gun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA Bipartisan gun measure survives test vote MORE (S.C.)
Specifically, the senators identify incomplete information on 10 questions about Sotomayor’s background, including cases she handled and speeches or lectures she delivered.
The letter reflects a ratcheting-up of the GOP’s scrutiny over Sotomayor, just hours after Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Finance: McConnell tees up Puerto Rico vote | Britain's credit rating slashed | Clinton vows to appoint trade prosecutor Senate Dem blocks intelligence authorization over FBI surveillance Overnight Healthcare: Biggest abortion rights win in 25 years | Justice Kennedy again steps to the left MORE (Ky.) used a floor speech to complain about the omissions.
“We are concerned about the fact that you have failed to provide a draft, video or transcript for more than half of your speeches, remarks, lectures, etc.,” the letter reads. “Please advise us of the process you undertook to search for these speeches, and for those that you are unable to provide to the committee, please provide a more thorough explanation of the content of each speech.”
McConnell and Sessions both said the omissions are proof that the White House is attempting to rush Sotomayor’s confirmation through the Senate. McConnell called it “a rush to judgment in order to meet an arbitrary deadline,” while Sessions said Republicans are frustrated that their fairness to Sotomayor has not been returned.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahySenate Dems rip GOP on immigration ruling Bernie Sanders’s awkward return to the Senate Senate heads toward internet surveillance fight MORE (D-Vt.) dismissed the attacks Wednesday, saying that he is following the same timeline that the Senate used to confirm Chief Justice John Roberts.
About Sotomayor’s questionnaire, Leahy noted that thousands of pages of background material on Roberts were not delivered by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library until just before his confirmation hearings.
“We’re on the same schedule,” he said. “If it was good enough for him, why shouldn’t it be good enough for her? And thousands of pages about him didn’t come in until a few days before the hearing.”
This story was updated at 5 p.m.