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Ahead of Announced Kavanaugh Hearing, HRC Asks Chairman Grassley: “What Are You Hiding?”

August 10, 2018

WASHINGTON -- Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, responded to the Kavanaugh hearing announcement made by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley with a call for full transparency on the nominee’s record.

Chairman Grassley announced hearing dates of Sept. 4, 5, 6, and 7 set for Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, less than two weeks after he rejected widespread calls that he request the release of all documents from the National Archives and George W. Bush Presidential Library related to Kavanaugh’s career in government. There are over millions more documents in the George W. Bush Presidential Library, alone, that could pertain to Brett Kavanaugh’s record and provide a necessary insight into his legal views, particularly his record on LGBTQ issues during his time as White House Staff Secretary and White House Counsel.

In a new video and report, HRC explains why understanding Kavanaugh’s record at the White House is important; during these years, former President George W. Bush pressed for a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying and opposed hate crimes legislation.

“During his time in the Bush White House, Brett Kavanaugh almost certainly was involved with numerous legal and policy issues that impact the lives and rights of LGBTQ people, including hate crimes legislation, non-discrimination protections for federal workers, and a proposed Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in every state,” said HRC Associate Legal Director Robin Maril. “Historically, the Senate has made an effort to consider every public statement or document related to a Supreme Court nominee’s career. Before this hearing takes places, the American people demand and deserve to have the most comprehensive and transparent view of Brett Kavanaugh’s record. There is no reason for Chairman Grassley and the Senate Republican Leadership to hide these emails -- unless there’s something to hide.”

When Justice Elena Kagan was nominated for the Supreme Court, she had also served as a counsel in a presidential administration, and accordingly, the Senate Judiciary Committee paused for nearly a month to review the documents related to her service as counsel in the Clinton and Obama Administrations, releasing over 170,000 pages of information, including every email Justice Kagan wrote while serving in the White House. This amounted to all but one percent of documents requested.

The Human Rights Campaign joins coalition partners in calling on Chairman Grassley and the Senate Republican Leadership to ensure Americans are getting a fair and unfettered view into Brett Kavanaugh’s record.

 

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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