Amnesty International calls to halt Kavanaugh nomination

Amnesty International calls to halt Kavanaugh nomination
© Greg Nash

Amnesty International is calling on senators to to halt the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh over his "possible involvement" in human rights violations after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. 

The human rights organization wrote in a Monday letter that Kavanaugh might have been involved "in issues related to torture and rendition after 9/11."

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"More information must be made public to determine Kavanaugh’s role in relation to such practices," the organization wrote. "Amnesty International has long called for declassification of any documents or other materials depicting or describing enforced disappearance, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or other human rights violations, including acts of abduction and rendition, by US or non-US personnel after the attacks in the USA on September 11, 2001." 

Kavanaugh was working in the George W. Bush administration at the time of the attacks. 

Amnesty International is calling for a freeze on Kavanaugh's confirmation process until those documents are released publicly, calling the vetting of Kavanaugh’s human rights record "insufficient." 

The organization said the vote on Kavanaugh should be "further postponed unless and until any information relevant to Kavanaugh’s possible involvement in human rights violations—including in relation to the U.S. government’s use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, such as during the CIA detention program—is declassified and made public."

Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGOP senator blocks vote on House-passed Violence Against Women Act Congress feels heat to act on youth vaping GOP senator wants Violence Against Women Act passage by year end MORE (D-Calif.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyMichelle Obama presents Lin-Manuel Miranda with National Portrait Award Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry MORE (D-Vt.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOvernight Health Care: Crunch time for Congress on surprise medical bills | CDC confirms 47 vaping-related deaths | Massachusetts passes flavored tobacco, vaping products ban Trump, senators push for drug price disclosures despite setbacks Tensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' MORE (D-Ill.) in an August letter made a similar request, calling for the declassification of documents from Kavanaugh's time in the White House after 9/11. The senators claimed he was more involved in those controversial policies than he originally let on. 

Two publicly available documents cast doubt on Kavanaugh's assertion that he was not involved in the United States' post-9/11 counterterrorism policy, the senators wrote.

The senators wrote that "in 2006, Judge Kavanaugh told the [Senate Judiciary] Committee under oath that he was 'not aware of any issues'" regarding post-9/11 policies, including the treatment of detainees and the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program.  

"At least two documents that are publicly available on the Bush Library website from Judge Kavanaugh’s time as Staff Secretary suggest that he was involved in issues related to torture and rendition after 9/11," the senators wrote, citing two documents that seem to indicate Kavanaugh was looped into conversations about polices regarding torture. 

Amnesty International does not typically weigh in on the appointment of individuals to government positions unless they "are reasonably suspected of crimes under international law," according to the Monday letter.