A Puerto Rican civil rights organization with ties to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday turned over a new round of documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee on her affiliation with the group.
But the move has done little to appease Judiciary Republicans who are complaining that the information provided represents just a preliminary culling of seven or eight of the 300-plus boxes of documents that they are demanding.
What we have now is just the tip of the iceberg. We know that more than 300 boxes of documents remain and their contents have not been shared with the committee, said Stephen Boyd, spokesman for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), ranking member on Judiciary.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said on Fox News Sunday: I think the key is just to finish the job. For example, just a day or so ago, we discovered that there are 300 boxes of additional material that has just been discovered from her time working with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense [and Education] Fund ... The committee needs to have access to that material and time to work through it so we dont so we know all the facts before we vote on a person whos up for a lifetime job."
Republicans have in recent days increased their calls for more information and time to review it on Sotomayors involvement with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. Democrats have pushed back, making the case that Sotomayor is more than qualified for the court and deserves confirmation. Her hearings are set to begin July 13.
Tuesdays document dump will almost certainly add to the partisan sniping between Republicans and Democrats over the nomination.
The PRLDEF on Tuesday turned over a number of documents that could become political flash points, including papers on the organizations work with the nonprofit Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now during Sotomayors time with the PRLDEF.
ACORN has become a major rallying cry for conservatives after allegations that its organizers falsified voter registration forms in the 2008 election. The mere mention of ACORN in association with Sotomayor regardless of how significant her involvement with the group was will almost certainly intensify opposition to her high court installment from conservatives on and off Capitol Hill.
Meanwhile, the documents provided to the Judiciary panel this week also include notes on the PRLDEFs opposition to the nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court in 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan.
Borks nomination, which the Senate ultimately rejected, is seen by many Congressional observers as a key turning point for the Supreme Court confirmation process. While prior to the Bork nomination Republicans and Democrats had fought pitched battles over a presidents selection of a justice, Democrats for the first time brought campaign-style tactics to bare on the confirmation process, significantly upping the political ante and setting a standard for future high court fights, including Sotomayors.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.