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 SessionsDemocrats expected to delay Sessions vote Overnight Regulation: Trump aims to cut regs by 75 percent | Issues federal hiring freeze AT&T beefs up lobbying after merger proposal MORE (Ala.), Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySessions can put the brakes on criminal justice 'reform' GOP senator: Trump budget chief could face confirmation 'problems' Jeff Sessions will protect life MORE (Iowa), John CornynJohn CornynTrump continues to insist voter fraud robbed him of popular vote Trump hosts Hill leaders for ice breaker Trump's CIA chief clears Senate MORE (Texas), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom CoburnTom CoburnCoburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential The road ahead for America’s highways Rethinking taxation MORE (Okla.), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchObama's last law: TALENT Act will enhance government efficiency McCain: Trump's withdrawal from TPP a 'serious mistake' Trump, GOP set to battle on spending cuts MORE (Utah) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenate panel votes to confirm Tillerson Overnight Defense: Trump nominates Air Force secretary | Senate clears CIA director | Details on first drone strike under Trump Rubio to vote for Tillerson 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 McConnellSanders set for clash with Trump’s budget pick Cabinet picks boost 2018 Dems Overnight Finance: Trump takes US out of Pacific trade deal | WH says Trump has left his businesses | Lobbyists expect boom times 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 LeahyVA leaving navy veterans adrift in sea of Agent Orange Senate confirms first nominees of Trump era Senate gears up for battle over Trump's CIA pick 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.