Dershowitz: Kavanaugh should read Constitution

Former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz says President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, is "dead wrong" in his views on impeaching a sitting president.

Posted: Jul 11, 2018 4:53 AM
Updated: Jul 11, 2018 5:04 AM

Senate Democrats, eager to sink the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, are ratcheting up demands for a mountain of documents about his time working in George W. Bush's White House, a sign that the high-stakes battle is quickly devolving into a process fight.

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee began to discuss the matter Tuesday evening, but they had not yet made any determination on whether to ask the White House to turn over all the documents from Kavanaugh's time as Bush's staff secretary and as an associate counsel.

RELATED: Pence: 'I do' still want Roe v. Wade to be overturned

Forcing the White House to turn over those documents could slow Kavanaugh's nomination process, and potentially give Democrats new ammunition if any of the records reveal controversies from his past. But if Republicans don't ask for those records, they could be accused of ignoring relevant details about someone whose rulings could reshape American life for a generation.

"The fact that they have chosen somebody who has a big paper trail is not our problem," said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "That's their problem, and they need to be organized and get it to us."

Ahead of an evening strategy meeting in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, told CNN that no decisions have been made about which records to request from the White House, saying he needs to get a better "feel" for all the documents that are out there beyond the 300 opinions Kavanaugh authored as a federal judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Grassley said it's uncertain when confirmation hearings could occur because the relevant records need to be vetted first.

Other Republicans said there are limits.

"I think you can ask for too much," said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a veteran GOP member of the Judiciary Committee who will meet with Kavanaugh on Wednesday, warning Democrats not to be "obnoxious" about their requests. "But there is a lot, a lot of documentation they are going to have to disclose."

"I'm not sure it's relevant to his job as a judge," said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, a member of Senate GOP leadership, when asked about the document requests related to Kavanaugh's time in the Bush White House.

Kavanaugh's paper trail is one reason that McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, advised President Donald Trump to consider other nominees who could be confirmed more quickly, ensuring the final votes occur ahead of the November midterm elections, when control of Congress will be at stake.

Democrats have already seized on the documents to make new demands, hoping to disclose controversies that could add new complications to Kavanaugh's prospects in the narrowly divided Senate. Democrats say every document from his time in the Bush White House needs to be turned over to the committee, arguing that a similar standard was followed by Justice Elena Kagan in her 2010 confirmation proceedings.

"We need to look at his record, and his record isn't only as a judge," Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, told CNN.

"Are you kidding?" Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, another Democrat on the committee, said when asked if Democrats were simply trying to slow down the fight. "These documents are all extremely relevant to his views on executive power and Bush administration policy, as well as current questions of presidential authority."

Blumenthal added: "I mean, we're not talking about high school term papers. His involvement in the Bush administration was one of the central parts of his career, and many other documents are relevant too."

The White House is working on providing documents about Kavanaugh's past to the Senate, but the scope of the records that will ultimately be turned over is unclear, sources said.

The White House plans to work with the Judiciary Committee to provide relevant documents about Kavanaugh's past, according to a White House official.

Outside groups are also waging a battle for Kavanaugh's documents. The group Fix the Court, which advocates for Supreme Court transparency and accountability, sued the National Archives and Records Administration and the Justice Department on Tuesday over outstanding requests under the Freedom of Information Act related to Kavanaugh's time working under the former independent counsel Ken Starr, who was investigating the Clinton White House. The FOIA request, which demands notes and correspondence from 1994 to 1998 as Kavanaugh worked for Starr, could amount to some 20,000 pages, the group said.

And that is likely a fraction of the records, emails and documents Kavanaugh had a hand in while working in the Bush administration as an associate counsel from 2001 to 2003 and as staff secretary from 2003 to 2006 before being confirmed to the federal bench.

Some key Democratic senators said Tuesday that the more records turned over, the better.

"The more I have the better it's going to be," said Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a Democrat whose vote on Kavanaugh could be pivotal on the Senate floor.

Leaving McConnell's office, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said no decisions had been made about requesting documents from the White House.

"I think you will hear a lot about that," Cornyn said. "It's still being discussed. No decisions made."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 97638

Reported Deaths: 2067
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin27372932
Ramsey11088322
Dakota7635126
Anoka6238137
Stearns407724
Washington388355
Scott262533
Olmsted251928
Nobles197716
Blue Earth17266
Wright16957
St. Louis165941
Carver14377
Clay141741
Rice13438
Mower13425
Sherburne116914
Kandiyohi10552
Winona91318
Lyon7224
Waseca6898
Benton5603
Crow Wing55518
Steele5552
Freeborn5464
Nicollet54517
Watonwan5304
Chisago5131
Todd5042
McLeod5012
Le Sueur4744
Otter Tail4624
Beltrami4505
Martin43010
Goodhue3829
Itasca34715
Pine3430
Douglas3372
Polk3224
Isanti3151
Becker2812
Carlton2761
Morrison2682
Dodge2570
Pipestone23210
Cottonwood2280
Chippewa2231
Meeker2132
Wabasha2020
Sibley1993
Brown1962
Yellow Medicine1902
Cass1844
Redwood1773
Rock1760
Murray1722
Mille Lacs1693
Renville1578
Unassigned15452
Jackson1491
Faribault1470
Swift1441
Fillmore1330
Houston1280
Kanabec1278
Roseau1250
Koochiching1233
Pennington1201
Hubbard1171
Lincoln1160
Stevens1041
Pope990
Aitkin831
Big Stone830
Wadena720
Wilkin703
Lac qui Parle651
Grant634
Lake600
Norman540
Marshall531
Mahnomen491
Red Lake451
Traverse340
Clearwater280
Lake of the Woods231
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 86860

Reported Deaths: 1315
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk16010262
Woodbury555467
Johnson517027
Black Hawk450990
Linn4101113
Story346217
Dubuque333241
Scott304528
Dallas280738
Pottawattamie215939
Buena Vista199912
Marshall179134
Sioux16803
Wapello134057
Webster128014
Plymouth116121
Clinton113021
Muscatine112155
Crawford11005
Cerro Gordo105921
Warren9666
Jasper86432
Des Moines8008
Marion7697
Henry7554
Tama73932
Carroll6855
Lee6437
Wright5961
Dickinson5306
Boone5178
Bremer5027
Washington47211
Louisa43115
Delaware4233
Mahaska41519
Floyd3543
Jackson3523
Franklin35118
Lyon3514
Winneshiek3406
Clay3344
Hamilton3323
Benton3281
Winnebago31713
Hardin3071
Poweshiek3078
Buchanan2861
Jones2843
Kossuth2800
Butler2752
Emmet27010
Clarke2683
Shelby2681
Allamakee2666
Chickasaw2661
Sac2650
Clayton2633
Cherokee2552
Cedar2521
Guthrie2527
Harrison2523
Fayette2312
Madison2272
Grundy2243
Iowa2161
Palo Alto2050
Hancock1952
Howard1927
Humboldt1913
Mitchell1910
Calhoun1873
Mills1831
Page1710
Cass1692
Osceola1690
Pocahontas1652
Monona1601
Monroe16011
Lucas1566
Appanoose1423
Jefferson1391
Union1383
Taylor1321
Davis1274
Ida1261
Fremont1210
Van Buren1151
Keokuk1141
Worth1090
Greene1030
Montgomery975
Audubon871
Wayne872
Adair721
Decatur670
Ringgold532
Adams330
Unassigned140
Rochester
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Mason City
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 53°
Albert Lea
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 54°
Austin
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 54°
Charles City
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 46°
Winds pick up for Wednesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events