Todd Ruger

Senate Democrats ‘Ready to Sue’ for Kavanaugh Records
Schumer threatens lawsuit against the National Archives

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Democrats threatened Thursday to file a lawsuit to get access to documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s time in the George W. Bush White House.

Schumer told reporters that Judiciary Committee Democrats “stand ready to sue” the National Archives and Records Administration if they don’t quickly fill requests from committee Democrats for records under the Freedom of Information Act. The confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh is set for Sept. 4, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants a floor vote before Oct. 1.

Kavanaugh Makes Strategic Stops on His Senate Tour as Chamber Returns
Heitkamp, Donnelly and other swing votes are on his schedule

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will ramp up his behind-the-scenes preparation over the next three weeks for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, starting with more one-on-one meetings Wednesday with senators whose votes could prove pivotal.

Kavanaugh, who is more used to asking questions from the dais as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the past 12 years, has been going through mock hearings that last several hours with questions from people assigned to the role of different senators, a White House official said.

Kavanaugh Feared Looking ‘Silly’ on Flip-Flop on Presidential Records
Documents show Supreme Court nominee fretted about position switch while working in White House

Long before the current Senate fight over access to presidential records as part of his Supreme Court nomination, Brett Kavanaugh sent an email to his co-workers in the White House counsel’s office about a soon-to-be-published article on access to presidential records that “makes me look very silly.”

Kavanaugh let the office know that Washington Post columnist Al Kamen planned to write a blurb to highlight how he had switched legal positions — now that he was a lawyer in the George W. Bush administration — when it comes to how much power former presidents and their families had to block the release of presidential records.

Kavanaugh Hearing Date Set for September 4 in Senate
Republicans want a floor vote on Trump’s pick by the midterms

Updated at 4:19 p.m. | The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a three- or four- day confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh starting Sept. 4, Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, announced on Friday.

That means the marathon hearing will begin the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Collins Paints Himself as Medical Patron, Won’t Drop Re-Election Bid
Defiant New York Republican says he’s not going anywhere as he fights insider trading charges

Rep. Chris Collins announced Wednesday night he will stay in office and remain in his race for re-election, calling criminal insider trading charges filed against him earlier in the day “meritless.”

The New York Republican highlighted his long affiliation with Australian biotechnology company Innate Immunotherapeutics, saying he was the biggest investor and lost most of the money he invested when it failed a clinical drug trial to treat multiple sclerosis.

3 Eye-Popping Details in the Chris Collins Case Documents
Bad news at the White House, in-law joint indictments and prior knowledge

New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins was arrested Wednesday on charges including insider trading and lying to authorities. The indictment documents and related complaint from the Securities and Exchange Commission illuminate a wild chain of events that led to the arrest.

Here are three of the most eye-popping details from the documents:

Archives Can’t Deliver Reams of Kavanaugh Docs Fast Enough for GOP
Request could top 900,000 pages, lawyer for National Archives and Records Administration says

Updated 4:13 p.m. | The National Archives and Records Administration said Thursday it will need until the end of October to process documents Senate Republicans requested on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which could derail plans for a speedy confirmation process where Democrats had already complained they weren’t seeing enough information.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, in a July 27 letter, had asked to get records by Aug. 15 from the George W. Bush Presidential Library about Kavanaugh’s work in the White House counsel’s office. 

Brett Kavanaugh September Judiciary Committee Hearing in the Works
Judiciary chairman outlines September hearing and October vote

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sometime in September with the goal of a floor vote by Oct. 1, Chairman Charles E. Grassley said Wednesday.

Grassley laid out the timeline for the Supreme Court confirmation process during an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, saying “the earlier the better,” but noting the Senate still doesn’t have key documents from Kavanaugh’s past.

With Kavanaugh, Court Could Take Aim at Gun Control Laws
New justice could be key fourth vote to take up cases and strike down laws

In February, less than a week after a gunman opened fire and killed 17 students and staff in a Parkland, Florida, high school, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas complained that the court was allowing too many gun control laws to go into effect across the nation.

For the past eight years, the high court has avoided major cases addressing the extent to which Congress or state lawmakers can pass laws that restrict firearms — and Thomas and other conservative justices have noted their objections. This time, it was a challenge to a California law that required an average person to wait 10 days after buying a gun to get it.

House Freedom Caucus Leaders Introduce Impeachment Resolution for Rod Rosenstein
Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan have clashed with deputy AG

In an escalation of their feud with the second-highest ranking Justice Department official, Rep. Mark Meadows announced that he and Rep. Jim Jordan filed a resolution to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, claiming that the Justice Department had “repeatedly obstructed oversight” by Congress.

Meadows, the North Carolina Republican who chairs the House Freedom Caucus, and Jordan, the Ohio Republican who is the former chairman of that caucus, have been highly critical of Rosenstein, with Jordan and Rosenstein exchanging testy remarks at a House Judiciary Committee hearing last month

Withdrawn Nomination Gives Democrats Hope in Brett Kavanaugh Fight
Small margin in Senate provides little wiggle room for Supreme Court nominee

The last-minute White House withdrawal of an appeals court nominee on the Senate floor Thursday underscores just how thin of a margin Republicans have on the looming fight over President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Senate’s lone black Republican, planned to vote Thursday against the nomination of Ryan Bounds of Oregon to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, based on some writings by Bounds in college. Republicans have only 50 votes right now because Sen. John McCain of Arizona is battling brain cancer at home.

Supreme Court Nominee Kavanaugh’s Responses Reveal Views
Questionnaire part of confirmation process

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh described his volunteer work, his most important decisions and how President Donald Trump picked him in paperwork submitted as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation process.

The questionnaire is a standard part of the confirmation process, and nominees can use it to bolster their case. For instance, Kavanaugh, when asked to list his 10 most important decisions, listed nine cases in which the Supreme Court later agreed with the positions he took as a federal appeals court judge.

Democrats Demand Paperwork Before Meeting With Kavanaugh
Judiciary Committee members debated the Supreme Court nominee’s voluminous paper trail Thursday

Senate Democrats haven’t had private meetings with Judge Brett Kavanaugh in his first two weeks as a Supreme Court nominee, and aren’t likely to until there is progress on getting access to his lengthy paper trail about his prior political work.

Democrats want assurances that the National Archives will agree to send to the Senate Judiciary Committee volumes of documents about Kavanaugh’s past, which includes a lengthy tenure in the George W. Bush White House, a senior Senate Democratic aide said Thursday. And they want to know that the document access won’t be thwarted by claims of executive privilege.

Supreme Court Picks’ Disagreements Show Stakes of Confirmation
Brett Kavanaugh, Merrick Garland diverge on key issues at circuit court level

The judge that President Barack Obama unsuccessfully tried to put on the Supreme Court in 2016 and the judge President Donald Trump selected Monday sit on the same federal appeals court — and their divergent rulings in recent cases echo the Senate’s partisan divide on key policy issues.

The two judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — Obama pick Merrick Garland and Trump pick Brett Kavanaugh — went different ways in just the past two years on cases about immigration and abortion, criminal sentencing, police misconduct claims and employee rights.

This Won’t Be Kavanaugh’s First Knock-Down, Drag-Out Confirmation Fight
Former clerk calls him “the opposite of a Georgetown cocktail party guy”

Judge Brett Kavanaugh built a solidly conservative record during his 12 years on the appeals court in Washington that decides consequential cases on health care, the environment and other major governmental policies. Now, he is President Donald Trump’s nominee to become a Supreme Court justice.

Kavanaugh, 53, had long been mentioned in Washington chatter as a potential high court choice by a Republican president because of his educational background, intellectual firepower and an unyielding commitment to a legal approach championed by conservative Supreme Court justices such as Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Outside Groups, Democrats Form Ranks in Supreme Court Fight
‘This will not happen without a fight,’ Sen. Cory Booker says

Less than 24 hours after Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, liberal advocacy group Demand Justice rallied in front of the court building Thursday with a string of Democratic lawmakers with a unified message: We will fight.

A professionally printed “Ditch the List” sign featuring President Donald Trump’s face hung on the podium, an expression of dissatisfaction with his list of 25 solidly conservative potential picks. Numerous Democratic senators also seized on the phrase as a hashtag on Twitter.

GOP Celebrates Supreme Court’s Most Conservative Term in Years
Kennedy retirement capped a season of 5-4 highlights

The Supreme Court ended its term with a number of decisions that split the court along ideological lines, a finish that underscored just how much President Donald Trump’s appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch influenced the nation’s legal landscape.

Now, with a second Supreme Court nominee to select, Trump has the power to move the court solidly to the right.

Kennedy Role on Court Meant Big Imprint on Nation
From gay rights to abortion, he was often the deciding vote on the most contentious issues

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, 81, became known as the swing vote during the final decade of his 30 years on the Supreme Court — a description he professed to dislike.

It’s not that his ideology or positions on legal issues moved back and forth. But he would frequently cast the deciding vote on the most contentious cases.

Supreme Court Justice Kennedy to Retire
Trump pick could solidify conservative tilt for years to come

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced his resignation from the Supreme Court on Wednesday, launching what promises to be an all-out partisan brawl in the Senate over the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s choice to quickly fill the vacancy.

Kennedy, 81, spent the last of his three decades on the Supreme Court as the deciding vote on many of the court’s most contentious cases. Although conservative, he sometimes joined the liberal wing of the court and authored landmark opinions on cases dealing with abortion, campaign finance and LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage.

Supreme Court Sides With Pregnancy Centers in Free Speech Case
California law had required centers to provide information about abortion

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled against a California law that required medical centers that primarily serve pregnant women to inform patients about free or low-cost abortions under state health care programs — a decision that some lawmakers warned could cause problems for similar health and safety laws.

In a 5-4 opinion, the court’s five conservative justices sided with the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and other centers with religious affiliations in the case that pitted free speech against regulations that require disclosure of health laws.