GOP letter asks Sotomayor to fill in the blanks

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.”

ADVERTISEMENT
“We would respectfully ask that you revisit the questionnaire and provide another supplement as soon as possible,” the senators wrote. “If you believe that your questionnaire is fully responsive, we would appreciate an explanation to that effect.”

The letter was signed by ranking member Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsJustice requires higher standard than Sessions Cory Booker: It's now time to fight Pundits predict: What will Trump say in his inaugural address? MORE (Ala.), Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGOP senator: Trump budget chief could face confirmation 'problems' Jeff Sessions will protect life Justice, FBI to be investigated over Clinton probes MORE (Iowa), John CornynJohn CornynTop GOP senator warns of weekend work on Trump nominees GOP governors defend Medicaid expansion Obama issues final round of sentence commutations 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 HatchOvernight Defense: Senate to vote on defense picks Friday | 41 detainees left at Gitmo | North Korea may be prepping missile launch Congressional leaders unite to protect consumers Mnuchin weathers stormy confirmation hearing MORE (Utah) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report Graham: Trump would make mistake in not punishing Russia Graham to vote for Trump’s EPA pick 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 McConnellWill America really unite behind Trump? Live coverage of Trump's inauguration Top GOP senator warns of weekend work on Trump nominees 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 LeahyOvernight Tech: Meet the key players for Trump on tech | Patent chief staying on | Kerry aide goes to Snapchat | Uber's M settlement Senate panel sets vote on Sessions for AG Obama admin injects another 0M into global climate fund 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.