Cory Booker just bravely risked his job to expose an ugly truth about racial profiling the Senate wanted to hide.
Senate Republicans were trying to hide emails from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh discussing racial profiling.
Kavanaugh was offering counsel to the Bush White House on what he called “racial profiling,” in a question over whether certain businesses were being favored by their ethnic makeup.
Thanks to Cory Booker, you can now read all those emails here.
Knowing the emails would be controversial, Senate Republicans marked them as “confidential” even though they did not contain sensitive information about national security.
The emails were not classified, meaning they had already been cleared for public consumption.
However, the Senate marking them as “confidential” meant that it was suddenly against the rules to publish them or even discuss them in the context of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.
“I’m going to release the email about racial profiling. I understand the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate,” Booker said in a dramatic moment Thursday moment.
.@SenBooker says he is willing to accept the consequences, if they come, in order to release critical details about… https://t.co/DKpjmxjUjB— Senate Democrats (@Senate Democrats)1536245894.0
True to his word, Booker then posted the emails to his Twitter account:
These are the 4 documents marked committee confidential that I brought up in my questioning of Supreme Court nomin… https://t.co/EYeg2oF9Mm— Cory Booker (@Cory Booker)1536246251.0
Booker’s move could bring some much needed transparency to the process.
Booker made it clear he wasn’t trying to hurt Kavanaugh’s nomination by releasing the emails. Instead, he’s pushing against an obvious attempt to shut down debate or even informed discussion, during the hearing.
“We’re rushing through this before me and my colleagues and can even read and digest the information,” Booker said.
Ironically, the Senate’s refusal to publish the information in a timely manner has now likely brought more negative attention to Kavanaugh’s nomination than if they had been published well in advance of the hearings.
Booker’s colleagues rushed to his defense, pointing out how unusual it is for the Senate to bury important documents before the Supreme Court nomination hearing.
Republicans know how extreme Brett Kavanaugh's record is, so they're making up rules to hide it from the public. Th… https://t.co/AZ8EOY1TFk— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren)1536252341.0
Thank you, @CoryBooker for taking a risk to show America where Kavanaugh stands on issues. Stand up. Speak up. https://t.co/3n6NsI83q0— Senator Jeff Merkley (@Senator Jeff Merkley)1536256887.0
I stand with my colleague @CoryBooker. The American people have a right to see Kavanaugh's full record. https://t.co/mGYbwnAhR4— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris)1536247163.0
After all, barring any huge controversies, it’s unlikely Democrats can do anything to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination.
And if it can’t be stopped, the public should at least have the right to truly know who President Trump has nominated for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court - whether they agree with that nomination or not.