In today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy made the case for his needing to retire in a bizarre rant against “his friend” current Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and the Senate Judiciary Committee over the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. Leahy talked about “wandering in the woods” and compared the hearing to his childhood love of “Alice in Wonderland.” In other parts he made some outlandish claims that made him look like he was in some sort of fantasy woods created by Lewis Carroll.
One example. Leahy said:
“When I was Chairman . . .[we] requested the full universe of Justice Kagan’s documents. . . . We received 99% of them.”
As Chairman Grassley pointed out,
“The [Judiciary] Committee did not receive 99% of Justice Kagan’s record; we did not get her Solicitor General records.”
Leahy made all kinds of other accusations over the number of records turned over. It is apparent that no number would be enough.
Putting aside the debate over numbers of documents, there is the more important debate over relevancy. It seems all rational observers would agree the most relevant part of Brett Kavanaugh’s record for determining if Judge Kavanaugh is fit to be a Supreme Court Justice is his time as an appellate court judge.
Among those who agreed with this rational standard in the past is Senator Leahy. In 2009 during the confirmation hearing for Justice Sotomayor, it was Senator Leahy who said:
“In truth, we do not have to speculate about what kind of a Justice she will be because we have seen the kind of judge she has been.”
Sotomayor had one less year then Judge Kavanaugh on the Court of Appeals at the time of her confirmation (although more time as a judge). It seems like 2018 Senator Leahy should listen to 2009 Senator Leahy and review Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record. If he left the woods of wonderland, he would realize that would give him what he needs.