Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, is fed up with Democrats’ argument that they won’t have enough documents to make a decision about Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Standing alongside a handful of other Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Hatch, a typically mild-mannered member of the chamber, called the partisan efforts “dumbass” on Thursday as he begged members to come together in what has become one of the most divisive Supreme Court nominations in recent memory.
“I want to really compliment the Democrats who have stood up and are willing to stand up for Judge Kavanaugh,” Hatch said. “We can’t keep going down this partisan, picky, stupid, dumbass road that has happened around here for so long. I am sick and tired of it to be honest with you and I’m tired of the partisanship.”
Democrats have charged Republicans are withholding vital documents from Kavanaugh’s time as a staff secretary in the Bush administration. Republicans, meanwhile, in a display that included stacked boxes in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room, have argued the documents they are asking for go far enough in helping Democrats make a determination about Kavanaugh.
“Frankly, we didn’t treat their candidates for these positions, the way they are treating ours. I would like to see us hopefully break through and change that,” Hatch said.
Democrats have been seeking all of Kavanaugh’s records form his time in the White House, arguing he should be subject to the same standard to which Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was subjected to from her time as a lawyer in the White House Counsel’s office. Republican senators say Democrats are taking it beyond the precedent from Kagan’s nomination. Democrats have also accused Republican leadership of partisanship in their refusal to hold a hearing for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland for the seat left vacant after Justice Antonin Scalia died. Scalia’s seat was eventually filled by Neil Gorsuch.
This story has been updated.