Dem senator filing lawsuit to block Kavanaugh vote

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said Wednesday that he is filing a lawsuit to try to prevent the Senate from taking up Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination until his “full record” is available.
Merkley argued the handling of Kavanaugh’s nomination is “an assault on the separation of powers” and violates the Constitution. Merkley said his lawsuit will be filed later Wednesday in federal court in Washington, D.C., and would ask the court to block a vote until documents are handed over.
“The president and [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell want to ram through this nomination come hell or high water, without real advice or informed consent by the Senate, but that’s just not our Constitution works,” Merkley said in a statement.
{mosads}Merkley, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, laid out three acts where he thought the White House had directly interfered with the Senate’s “advice and consent” responsibly: blocking access to staff secretary documents, blocking access to some documents from Kavanaugh’s work as a White House lawyer and labeling some documents given to the Senate Judiciary Committee “committee confidential.”  
Merkley acknowledged that he did not know of a precedent where a court prevented a Senate vote, but he said he was also not aware of a time where he claims the White House had so “profoundly interfered” on a Supreme Court nominee’s documents. 
“This is unchartered territory,” he said. 
Merkley’s lawsuit comes as Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to publicly accuse him of sexual assault, are scheduled to testify before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday
Kavanaugh has denied wrongdoing and pledged that he will not withdraw his nomination, even as two other women have come forward to accuse him of misconduct stemming from his time in high school and college in the 1980s.
The Senate Judiciary Committee could vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination as early as Friday, which would set up a full Senate vote early next week. 
Tags Jeff Merkley Mitch McConnell
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