NEW BRUNSWICK - Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez joined with Rep. Frank Pallone today at Mt. Zion AME Church in the city to press their objections to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the Republicans senators in favor of his confirmation.
Booker, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, again attacked GOP senators for refusing to release documents that Kavanaugh had written when he was White House counsel to President George W. Bush.
"All Americans, left or right, Democratic and Republicans, should be outraged that we see Republicans rushing to confirm Brett Kavanaugh when the totality of his record, when his relative work product has not been revealed," Booker said. Calling the confirmation hearings a "sham," Booker said no senator should vote for the nominee until all documents had been reviewed.
He was threatened with penalties last week, including possible expulsion from the Senate for breaking rules and questioning Kavanaugh about emails the nominee had written that had not been properly released. Booker released the emails himself. It was later determined that release of the emails had been approved.
Booker on Monday said other members of the Senate late last week had revived discussions of possible penalties.
Fellow Democrats Menendez and Pallone praised Booker for his courage in demanding release of the documents. All three elected officials said Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court could impact Americans on the issues of immigration, health care, civil rights, racial profiling and abortion.
"Once confirmed to the Supreme Court, (Kavanaugh) is all but certain to bend the arch of justice backward to a time and place that none of us want to go back to," Menendez said.
He said the Republicans had changed the rules so that a simple majority of 51 senators is sufficient to confirm Kavanaugh's appointment, instead of the 66 votes previously required. Currently Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate.
"All they have to do is line up their votes and we can't stop them. But, we are trying to create a national pressure against the confirmation," Menendez said.
Among the speakers at the press conference was Marcus Sibley, communications director for the state conference of the NAACP, who called Kavanaugh a "danagerous ideologe," Sibley said the NAACP had opposed Kavanaugh when he was fisrt appointed as a federal judge. "We will fight this confirmation," he said.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh this week, though Democrats may try to delay that vote.