Judiciary Seeks Additional Sotomayor Documents

Posted June 18, 2009 at 1:51pm

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) are expected Thursday to ask the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund for a raft of new documents as part of their committee’s review of Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination.

Conservatives and Senate Republicans have increasingly focused on Sotomayor’s work with the PRLDEF. During her time with the organization, the group took public positions on a series of hot-button issues, including the death penalty and abortion.

Sotomayor worked with the organization between 1980 and1992 and helped write a number of legal briefs on behalf of the organization. Sotomayor’s work with the fund also included helping it develop public policy positions.

Thus far, Sotomayor has only turned over a handful of documents to the Judiciary Committee, totaling roughly 30 pages of materials. But Sotomayor has acknowledged that more documents exist, and she has asked PRLDEF to provide them to the committee.

According to sources familiar with the Judiciary request, Leahy and Sessions will ask the organization to expedite the process of turning over documents relating to any legal briefs and public policy positions the organization developed during Sotomayor’s involvement.

The new information would supplement Sotomayor’s written responses to questions from Leahy and Sessions, and Republicans have said they expected to make additional requests of the high court nominee and others as they prepare for her confirmation hearings in mid-July.