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'Unprecedented' FOIA Request Filed to Vet Brett Kavanaugh

By George Khoury, Esq. on August 09, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

While it is no secret that United States Supreme Court confirmation hearings can be hotly contested and highly partisan, nominee Brett Kavanaugh might be facing a particularly contentious one.

Interestingly, democrats in the Senate have pushed to obtain records of Kavanaugh's work as a government official, but have been denied. However, recent headlines indicate that the Senate has utilized FOIA requests to obtain those records, which is an unprecedented move and a move that might delay things for Kavanaugh.

Time Is of the Essence

Although Justice Gorsuch's confirmation wasn't nearly as difficult, Kavanaugh seems to be up against a potential timing issue. As his confirmation is expected to lay a conservative stamp on the High Court for years to come, democrats are hopeful of defeating the confirmation, either by finding some nail-in-the-coffin documents, or by delaying the vote until after the midterm elections (which are expected to provide a shake-up to the current Senate's partisan makeup).

Interestingly, a new BuzzFeed investigative report utilized FOIA requests to get some docs on Kavanaugh. Unfortunately for the online news organization, what they received was pretty much worthless due to the ultra-heavy-handed redacting, and didn't include a large chunk of the docs they were requesting.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Judiciary Committee explained: "This extraordinary step is a last resort -- unprecedented and unfortunate but necessary to fully and fairly review Judge Kavanaugh's nomination." Notably, some of the documents sought include those when Kavanaugh worked in the White House Counsel's office, which he has mentioned was a formative time.

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