Group to Obama's court nominee: Release any records of misconduct

Group to Obama's court nominee: Release any records of misconduct
© Cameron Lancaster

A watchdog group is urging President Obama's Supreme Court nominee to release records of any investigations into allegations of misconduct that took place during his time as a federal prosecutor for the Department of Justice.

In a letter Monday, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust asked Merrick Garland to give the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility permission to release any records that may exist.

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“As you are likely aware, it is policy of the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility to refuse to confirm or deny the existence of any records pertinent to any professional misconduct without the subject’s written authorization,” the group said in its letter.

“Because you served in the DOJ for nearly 10 years in both litigation and policy roles, American citizens need to know whether any such records exist and to examine any existing records in order to evaluate your qualifications to serve as a Supreme Court justice.”

The nonprofit, which says it promotes accountability, ethics and transparency in government, attached the necessary consent form to its letter for Garland’s convenience.

It has been over a month since President Obama formally nominated Garland, the chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, to fill the open seat on the court left by the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Republicans are holding strong on their refusal to hold a confirmation hearing or vote, saying the vacancy should be filled by the next president.

If the stalemate in Congress lasts until after the November elections, it could be spring before a ninth justice is confirmed.