Today (September 26), during day three of Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate hearings to consider his nomination to the Supreme Court, Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) warned the Committee on the Judiciary that he was about to release documents labeled “committee confidential” because he wants the nation to understand what is at stake. Democrats and activists have expressed major concerns over Kavanaugh’s views on reporductive health care access and racial justice.
JUST IN: At Kavanaugh hearing, Sen. Booker says he’s releasing a “committee confidential” email “about racial profiling” and that he understands that “the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate.” pic.twitter.com/lNR30vjEil— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 6, 2018
True to his word, Booker then released the documents via the tweet below.
These are the 4 documents marked committee confidential that I brought up in my questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh last night –> https://t.co/2RZkY2FS9a— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) September 6, 2018
In a statement posted on his website, Booker further explained his action.
As I’ve been saying from the beginning, this process has been a sham. The fact that tens of thousands of documents revealing a Supreme Court nominee’s views on key issues were deemed Committee Confidential and not available to the public reflects the absurdity of this process. The public has a right to access documents about a Supreme Court nominee’s views on issues that are profoundly important, such as race and the law. This process has demonstrated an unprecedented level of secrecy and opaqueness that undermines the Senate’s Constitutional duty to advice and consent.
Per Senate Rule XXIX, Booker can be ousted from the Senate for releasing the files.
Shortly after Booker’s comment, Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) said they are all in for resisting as well, with Hirono releasing an additional confidential document that points to Kavanaugh’s pushback against programs meant to increase racial equity.
Dick Durbin to Cory Booker: “I concur with what you are doing. Let’s jump into this pit together … If there is going to be some retribution against the senator from New Jersey, count me in. I want to be part of this process.” (via CBS) pic.twitter.com/4x9FW84L10— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 6, 2018
Yesterday, I referred to a “Committee confidential” document where Judge Kavanaugh questioned the validity of programs that benefit Native Hawaiian programs, and by extension, Alaska Natives. If you’re coming after @SenBooker for releasing these documents, count me in. pic.twitter.com/3SezHKRMft— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) September 6, 2018
These are the docs Rs don’t want you to see—because they show that Judge Kavanaugh wrongly believes that Native Hawaiian programs are Constitutionally questionable. I defy anyone reading this to be able to conclude that it should be deemed confidential in any way, shape, or form. pic.twitter.com/yj31vDNGia— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) September 6, 2018