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Grassley: Kavanaugh Review Will Be Thorough and Fair, but No Taxpayer-Funded Fishing Expedition

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley today released the following statement regarding the committee review of documents relevant to the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
“This will be my 15th Supreme Court confirmation hearing. It will be the most transparent and thorough process of any of them. We will fulfill our constitutional duty to independently evaluate Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications. We have 12 years and more than 300 of his judicial writings on the D.C. Circuit, along with hundreds of opinions that he joined. We will also review his many academic writings and speeches. At Judge Kavanaugh’s hearing, we will hear from the people who know him best. We will also have the opportunity to look at relevant and proportional emails and other records from Judge Kavanaugh’s service in the White House. The committee will use sophisticated technology to conduct a thorough review. We will follow the gold standard for lawyers litigating in courthouses across America every day. We will have the manpower, technology and other resources to follow a confirmation timeline similar to the standard for previous Supreme Court nominees.
“Many Democrats announced their opposition to this nominee before the vetting process ever began. They’ve made clear that their plan will be to obstruct and delay at every corner, and reviewing Judge Kavanaugh’s record will be no different. Rest assured, this process will be fair and thorough. At the same time, I will not allow taxpayers to be on the hook for a government-funded fishing expedition.”
Consistent with the review of White House records of previous Supreme Court nominees, non-privileged records subject to the Presidential Records Act may be considered by the committee. Consistent with the federal rules and litigation standards, similar to how judges and lawyers handle e-Discovery in federal courthouse across America, the committee will seek a bipartisan agreement on the proper scope and use an e-Discovery platform to conduct its review of ‘relevant’ and ‘proportional’ records. Federal law permits lawyers for President George W. Bush and President Donald J. Trump to review the documents for privilege and privacy concerns. Records are expected to be provided to the committee on a rolling basis and on an equal basis to the Chairman and the Ranking Member.
For additional context, here are data points for the last three Supreme Court nominees who previously served in the Executive Branch:
Pages of Documents Produced
Number of Written Judicial Opinions
John Roberts
49 published; 0 unpublished
Elena Kagan
0 published; 0 unpublished
Neil Gorsuch
239 published; 618 unpublished