Kennedy Requests Twenty Roberts, Bush I Files

The NY Times reports that Senator Kennedy has requested “files covering about 20 matters Mr. Roberts handled in the first Bush administration.”

The request escalates the conflict over the documents from hypothetical to concrete. In response to preliminary inquiries from Democrats, White House officials earlier this week released many thousands of pages from Mr. Roberts’s work as a lawyer in the Reagan administration. But the White House said it would not provide access to his work as deputy solicitor general under the first President Bush, describing the content of the papers as confidential legal advice.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts and a veteran of judicial confirmation battles, told reporters about the request on Thursday as Senate Democrats responded to the first set of disclosures with diverging strategies about where and how hard to push back against the president’s Supreme Court pick. Mr. Kennedy said the request covered files on fewer than 20 matters out of more than 300.

Departing from the measured tones Democratic leaders have used in speaking about Judge Roberts, Mr. Kennedy laid the groundwork for a new line of questioning focused on Mr. Roberts’s role in the civil rights debates of the 1980’s.

Related Post: Kennedy: Roberts Holds “Cramped View of the Voting Rights Act”

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