September 12, 2018

SCOTUS | Committee Democrats Continue Delay Tactics with Volume of Written Questions for Kavanaugh

Kavanaugh receives more written questions than every Supreme Court nominee in history combined

WASHINGTON – As the Senate Judiciary Committee continues its work reviewing the nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, committee Democrats – all of whom are expected to vote against Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination – continue their meritless obstruction campaign by issuing an unprecedented 1,278 written questions for the record to the nominee. This is more than the combined number of written questions submitted to every prior Supreme Court nominee in the entire history of the United States.
 
“Last week, Judge Kavanaugh sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee for well over 32 hours of statements and questions. In just the same way I handled the Gorsuch hearing, members had the opportunity to ask as many questions they wanted to ask,” Chairman Grassley said. “Submitting this many written questions appears to be just one more effort to gum up the process. It’s unnecessary and dilatory, especially when many have already decided to vote against Judge Kavanaugh. What more do they need to know to vote ‘no’?”
 
After every nominations hearing held by the committee—from lower court to Supreme Court nominees, members can submit written questions for the record (QFRs). Since the Senate began taking testimony for Supreme Court nominations, only 1,247 questions for the record have ever been submitted. Here’s a breakdown of the number of questions members of the minority sent to Judge Kavanaugh.
-          Ranking Member Feinstein (“ready to lead the anti-Kavanaugh brigade”) submitted 241 questions for the record
-          Senator Leahy submitted (indicated opposition) 117 questions for the record
-          Senator Durbin submitted (indicated opposition) 128 questions for the record
-          Senator Whitehouse (announced he’s voting ‘no’) submitted 161 questions for the record
-          Senator Klobuchar (indicated opposition) submitted 14 questions for the record
-          Senator Coons (indicated opposition) submitted 192 questions for the record
-          Senator Blumenthal (announced he’s voting ‘no’) submitted 100 questions for the record
-          Senator Hirono (announced she’s voting ‘no’) submitted 122 questions for the record
-          Senator Booker (announced he’s voting ‘no’) submitted 90 questions for the record
-          Senator Harris (announced she’s voting ‘no’) submitted 113 questions for the record
 
As they did last week, Democrats appear to be seeking a sideshow instead of senatorial deliberation. On Friday, Chairman Grassley wrote that this opposition is failing because it’s meritless.
 
Historical breakdowns on the number of written questions for Supreme Court nominees follows.
 
Historical QFR Practice
Kavanaugh Total QFRs: 1287
All other SCOTUS nominees who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee,
Total QFRs: 1247
 
Nominee
# QFRs
 
Nominee
# QFRs
Kavanaugh (2018)
1287
 
White (1962)
0
Gorsuch (2017)
324
 
Stewart (1959)
0
Kagan (2010)
210
 
Whittaker (1957)
0
Sotomayor (2009)
214
 
Brennan (1957)
0
Alito (2006)
99
 
Harlan II (1955)
0
Roberts (2005)
231
 
Warren (1954)
0
Breyer (1994)
5
 
Minton (1949)
0
Ginsburg (1993)
20
 
Clark (1949)
0
Thomas (1991)
18
 
Vinson (1946)
0
Souter (1990)
4
 
Burton (1945)
0
Kennedy (1987)
47
 
Rutledge (1943)
0
Bork (1987)
15
 
Jackson (1941)
0
Rehnquist (1986 CJ, 1971)
44
 
Byrnes (1941)
0
Scalia (1986)
3
 
Stone (1941)
0
O’Connor (1981)
8
 
Murphy (1940)
0
Stevens (1975)
5
 
Douglas (1939)
0
Powell (1971)
0
 
Frankfurter (1939)
0
Blackmun (1970)
0
 
Reed (1938)
0*
Carswell (1970)
0
 
Cardozo (1932)
0*
Haynsworth (1969)
0
 
Parker (1930)
0*
Burger (1969)
0
 
Stone (1925)
0
Thornberry (1968)
0
 
Butler (1922)
0*
Fortas (1965, 1968)
0
 
Brandeis (1916)
0*
Marshall (1968)
0
 
Williams (1873)
0*
Goldberg (1962)
0
 
Total Other QFRs:
1247
* No testimony from nominee at hearing or in QFRs.


 
Overview of QFRs per Nominee
 
Kavanaugh QFRs: TOTAL = 1287
Grassley: 8
Coons: 192
Durbin: 128
Feinstein: 241
Flake: 1
Harris: 113
Hirono: 122
Leahy: 117
Klobuchar: 14
Whitehouse: 161
Blumenthal: 100
Booker: 90
 
Gorsuch QFRs: TOTAL = 324
Blumenthal: 50
Coons: 43
Durbin: 3
Feinstein: 100
Franken: 27
Hirono: 42
Leahy: 33
Whitehouse: 26
 
Kagan QFRs: TOTAL = 210
Grassley: 27
Sessions: 88
Cornyn: 45
Coburn: 20
Graham: 8
Kyl: 22
 
Sotomayor QFRs: TOTAL = 214
Cornyn: 19
Coburn: 32
Grassley: 62
Sessions: 98
Kyl: 3
 
Roberts QFRs: TOTAL = 231
Biden: 19
Brownback: 7
Feingold: 5
Feinstein: 13
Kennedy: 101
Kyl: 1
Leahy: 17 (8 submitted on behalf of Sen. Levin)
Feinstein for Mikulski: 17
Schumer: 51
 
Alito QFRs: TOTAL = 99
Biden: 11
Durbin:  22
Kennedy: 2
Leahy: 1
Levin: 14
Schumer: 45
Feingold: 2
 
Ginsburg QFRs: TOTAL = 20
Biden: 3
Thurmond: 4
Kohl: 1
Pressler: 12
 
Breyer QFRs: TOTAL = 5
Simpson (for Warner): 5
 
Souter QFRs: TOTAL = 4
Levin: 4
 
Thomas QFRs: TOTAL = 18
Biden: 5
Levin: 11
Byrd: 2
 
Kennedy QFRs: TOTAL = 47
Biden: 6
DeConcini: 10
Heflin: 4
Simon: 23
Levin: 4
 
Bork QFRs: TOTAL = 15
Biden: 4
Weicker: 1
Leahy: 1
Byrd: 7
Simon: 1
Metzenbaum: 1
 
Levin: 8 (Chief Justice Hearing)
Bayh, Hart, Kennedy (joint questions): 36
 
Scalia QFRs: TOTAL = 3
Levin: 3
 
O’Connor QFRs: TOTAL = 8
Humphrey: 8
 
Stevens QFRs: TOTAL =5
McClellan: 5
 
Powell QFRs: TOTAL = 0
No QFRs
 

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