The Slatest

Democratic Senator Klobuchar Says Kavanaugh Confirmation Process “Is Not Normal”

Demonstrators march through the city streets during the Unite For Justice rally in protest of Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the US Supreme Court, in Los Angeles, California on Aug. 26, 2018.
Demonstrators march through the city streets during the Unite For Justice rally in protest of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the US Supreme Court, in Los Angeles, California on Aug. 26, 2018.
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

The confirmation process for Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh “is not normal,” Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said on Sunday. “You have a nominee with excellent credentials, with his family behind him. You have the cameras there. You have the senators questioning. But this isn’t normal” she said on NBC’s Meet the Press. Specifically, Klobuchar was referring to the way in which the White House has decided to withhold records from the Senate because of constitutional privilege while others were shared with lawmakers but can’t be made public.

“It’s not normal, because we are not able to see 100,000 documents, that the archivist has just, because the administration has said we can’t see them,” Klobuchar said. “They’ve exerted their executive power, 148,000 documents that I’ve seen that you cannot see, because they won’t allow us to make them public. So I can’t even tell you about them right now on this show.”

Those documents Klobuchar has seen but can’t discuss publicly raise “some very interesting questions” about Kavanaugh’s views, she said. “I think that you could ask some very interesting questions about these documents that I’m unable to even say.” Some of those papers that can’t be discussed publicly could help Democrats make the case that Kavanaugh would not be a fair justice. “It would certainly bolster, strongly bolster the arguments that I could make,” she said. Specifically, Klobuchar raised concerns about Kavanaugh’s views on executive power. “You have a nominee who has one of the most expansive views of presidential power that we’ve seen in history,” she said.

Klobuchar was hardly alone in raising questions about documents. Sen. Dick Durbin said on Fox News Sunday that withholding documents by citing privilege was unprecedented. “There has been more concealment of documents concerning his public service and his position on issues than ever in the history of the United States,” Durbin said. “The assertion of executive privilege by the White House to take 100,000 documents and say the American people will not get a chance to see them as they reflect on Kavanaugh’s background is the first time in history.” Durbin went on to note that if he is “so proud of his conservative credentials show us the record, stand before us, trust the American people and they will trust you.”

Republicans dismissed the complaints of Democrats and Sen. Lindsey Graham said that if all goes as planned, Kavanaugh should have more than enough votes for confirmation. “If he does well at the hearing, I believe he’ll get 55 or higher,” Graham said on Fox News Sunday. “I think there are a handful of Democrats who will vote for Kavanaugh, maybe more.”