The Trump administration is withholding more than 100,000 pages of Brett Kavanaugh's records from the Bush White House on the basis of presidential privilege ahead of the Supreme Court nominee's confirmation hearing.
Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump's previous nominee.
Kavanaugh is likely to take the same approach when grilled on other hot-button issues, including abortion, affirmative action, federal regulatory authority, the death penalty, immigration and voting rights. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, his conservative stances could potentially affect the U.S. Supreme Court for years. Bush directed them to err "on the side of transparency and disclosure, and we believe we have done so".
That decision, relayed in a letter late Friday, just days before confirmation hearings are set to begin Tuesday, is a move top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of NY called a "Friday night document massacre".
But the letter said that the White House and the Department of Justice, conducting its own review of the presidential records, "have identified certain documents of the type traditionally protected by constitutional privilege".
The Presidential Records Act allows both the former administration and the current White House to claim privilege on presidential documents. They've exerted their executive power - 148,000 documents that I've seen, that you can not see, because they won't allow us to make them public. Dick Durbin, (D-Ill.), said yesterday on "Fox News Sunday".
Schumer called the "last moment" decision by President Trump "unprecedented in the history of [Supreme Court nominations]" and said it had "all the makings of a cover up". She added that there are "some very interesting questions about these documents", and said the information would "bolster" her arguments about whether Kavanaugh is qualified to be a Supreme Court justice. In a release, the committee pointed out that Grassley had promised to facilitate the release of another set of documents, now available only to members, if senators keep their requests targeted to specific documents.
Republicans said Democrats are reaching for objections.
But Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said it's "much more powerful" if Democrats stay and ask tough questions of the nominee.
The opinion that Roe v. Wade is "settled law" doesn't mean it can't be overturned by the Supreme Court, Sen.