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 SessionsTransition Tracker: Cabinet Trump's Cabinet puts US interests first — Europe should learn from that Depleted Dems look to Senate for 2020 nominee MORE (Ala.), Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyBusiness groups express support for Branstad nomination 10 no-brainer ways to cut healthcare costs without hurting quality Senate GOP: National museum should include Clarence Thomas MORE (Iowa), John CornynJohn CornynDems see ’18 upside in ObamaCare repeal Dem senator threatens to slow-walk spending bill Ark., Texas senators put cheese dip vs. queso to the test MORE (Texas), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom CoburnTom CoburnWill Trump back women’s museum? Don't roll back ban on earmarks Ryan calls out GOP in anti-poverty fight MORE (Okla.), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchOvernight Finance: Trump blasts Carrier's union leader | What's in the spending bill | Jamie Dimon gets perch for Trump era | AT&T, Time Warner execs grilled The Hill's 12:30 Report Hatch to meet with Trump Cabinet picks Thursday MORE (Utah) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamOvernight Cybersecurity: Retired general picked to head DHS | Graham vows to probe Russian election interference Overnight Tech: AT&T, Time Warner CEOs defend merger before Congress | More tech execs join Trump team | Republican details path to undoing net neutrality Overnight Finance: Trump blasts Carrier's union leader | What's in the spending bill | Jamie Dimon gets perch for Trump era | AT&T, Time Warner execs grilled 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 McConnellReid defends McConnell in farewell speech Transition Tracker: Cabinet Dems see ’18 upside in ObamaCare repeal 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 LeahyThe Hill's 12:30 Report The Hill's 12:30 Report Passing US-Canada preclearance would improve security and economy 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.