Leahy does 180 on transparency, slams door on Kagan document requests 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont was all for requiring the Bush White House to produce “everything he’s written or said” when Chief Justice John Roberts was nominated.

But now that it’s President Obama nominating solicitor general and former Harvard Law School head Elena Kagan for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court, Leahy is refusing requests from GOP members of the panel for additional documents potentially relevant to her confirmation hearing.

The contrast between Leahy – normally a faithful advocate of transparency in government – on Roberts and Leahy on Kagan could not be more vivid.

On July 19, 2005, Leahy offered these thoughts about Roberts: “We expect full answers. Obviously — and I said this again to the president tonight when I spoke with him — that we need some time. All of us want to go through everything he’s written or said.”

More quotes in the same vein from Leahy can be found on the Senate Republican web site. If you would like to watch the Judiciary Committee live in its executive session, you can do so on its web site.

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