National Archives to review all Kavanaugh records by October, potentially delaying confirmation

The National Archives said Thursday it would not be able to review all of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s records until October, signaling a potential delay in his confirmation process.

In a letter to Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, the National Archives and Records Administration, said the requested material from Judge Kavanaugh’s time working in government would exceed 900,000 pages.

By comparison, Chief Justice John. G Roberts, Jr. had roughly 70,000 pages and Justice Elena Kagan’s file contained 170,000 pages.

Mr. Grassley had wanted the materials turned over to his committee for senators to review by Aug. 15. He had hoped to have Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing in September.

Gary M. Stern, general counsel for the National Archives and Records Administration, said his office will complete the review in October, more than a month after Mr. Grassley’s requested deadline.

“Please note that we will not be able to complete our review of all of the records that you have requested by August 15, 2018,” Mr. Stern stated in his letter, which was shared on Twitter by SCOTUSblog.

Taylor Foy, Mr. Grassley’s communications director, said the confirmation hearing is still expected to take place in September.

“In the end, the committee will have reviewed significantly more records than ever before for a Supreme Court nominee,” Mr. Foy said.

Mr. Grassley had requested documents and emails sent “to” and “from” Judge Kavanaugh during his time working in the White House Counsel’s Office under President George W. Bush, as well as emails where he was merely copied.

He also requested any relating documents that pertained to Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination in 2006 when he was confirmed to the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.

Senate Republicans said Thursday by the time they vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, they will have gotten more documents from his past than for the previous five nominees combined.

The lawmakers were pushing back against Democratic complaints that they aren’t going to see all of the judge’s paper trail from his extensive career in government.

The fight over documents has become the biggest issue in the battle over Judge Kavanaugh, with Democrats insistent that Republicans are trying to whitewash his record by not requesting the files from his time as staff secretary to Mr. Bush. Instead, the GOP has only requested documents from his time in the White House counsel’s office from 2001 to 2003.

Republicans counter that what matters most are the judge’s more than 300 opinions authored during 12 years on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.

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