Ed Whelan reports that the director of the Clinton Presidential Library says it will be "very difficult" to review and release White House records relevant to Kagan's nomination in time for Leahy's hearing start date of June 28th. There are 160,000 pages of letters, memos, emails, and other documents.
Terry Garner, the library's director, stated:
"There are just too many things here...These are legal documents and they are presidential records, and they have to be read by an archivist and vetted for any legal restrictions. And they have to be read line by line."
Oh, but this shouldn't be too big of a stumbling block for some senators. Let us not forget that the current majority leader, Harry Reid, boasted that he had not read a "single one" of Sotomayor's judicial opinions before her hearing, and that he hoped to get through the hearing without having to read any.
But for those Senators who take their role of advice and consent seriously, who know precious little about Elena Kagan given her complete lack of judicial experience, her lack of litigation experience before her brief stint as Solicitor General, and her paltry publications record, this should be a deal breaker for any kind of a rushed hearing and vote. Senators simply will not have the information about how she has approached legal questions and what this may say about her judicial philosophy without gaining access to these documents with adequate time to review them. On that count, the statement of the Clinton Library is instructive: even five weeks is not enough time to go through all the documents in an adequate fashion. Senators should demand the documents, and adequate time to actually review them, before they go forward with a hearing or votes. To do otherwise would likely assure that the hearing is just the kind of farce that Kagan herself has previously derided.