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Judiciary Panel Releases Questionnaire for Nominee

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) released their questionnaire to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on Thursday. It seeks information on a variety of issues, including her time as solicitor general and dean of Harvard Law School.

The questionnaire is the first formal step in the confirmation process and will likely provide one of the key sources of information for her pending confirmation hearings — as well as an opportunity for Republicans to prepare their attacks on the nomination.

For instance, the questionnaire specifically asks for “copies of all community-wide letters, emails, or other communications that you sent to the Harvard Law School or the Harvard undergraduate community, including to the student body or faculty in your capacity as Dean of the Harvard Law School, including those related to Harvard’s antidiscrimination policy and/or its implementation.”

That request appears directly aimed at Kagan’s decision at Harvard to block military recruiters from using certain school resources because the school found the government’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to be discriminatory.

Additionally, in several instances the questionnaire asks Kagan to break down the time she has spent as an attorney and provide the Judiciary Committee with the percentage of time she has spent in court, writing briefs or other legal activities. Republicans have sought to make her relative lack of judicial experience a potential disqualification for serving on the Supreme Court.