Clinton Library Releases 45,000 Pages of Kagan Documents

Posted June 4, 2010 at 12:25pm

Updated: 2:39 p.m.

The William J. Clinton Presidential Library on Friday released more than 45,000 pages of documents relating to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s time in the former president’s administration, the first of several document dumps expected before the start of Kagan’s confirmation hearings on June 28.

Senate Judiciary ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) called the number of documents released inadequate and reiterated his concern that the committee will not have enough time to pore over the information before Kagan’s hearings.

“The batch of documents received today represent less than a third of the 160,000 pages of material we have been told exist from Elena Kagan’s time as a senior policy aide to President Clinton. We are now a mere 23 days away from the hearing and the committee still has yet to receive over 100,000 pages of documents,” Sessions said in a statement.

“We have a constitutional obligation to conduct a full and thorough review of this nominee on behalf of the American people. With each day that passes, I become more concerned that we will not receive documents in time for a proper review, or that they will be incomplete,” he added.

But Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) shot back that the documents released on Kagan are sufficient: “With this initial delivery of documents, the Judiciary Committee has received more information from the administration than was made available at this point in the confirmation process for either the [John] Roberts or [Samuel] Alito nominations. I commend the staff at the Clinton Presidential Library and the National Archives for their prompt work in responding so thoroughly to the Committee’s request.”

The first set of documents relates to Kagan’s work on Clinton’s Domestic Policy Council and covers a number of high-profile subjects including AIDS policy, appropriations, campaign finance reform, education, health, labor, race, tobacco and welfare policies.

Republican Senators and conservative judicial advocates are hoping to mine the documents for ammunition to use against Kagan — now the solicitor general — during the hearings, which are expected to last four or five days. Democrats are hoping for a full Senate confirmation vote before the August recess, which begins Aug. 6.