The Senate Judiciary Committee has posted documents to its website relating to Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s tenure on the board of a group called LatinoJustice PRLDEF (formerly the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund).
The release comes on a holiday Friday after the committee’s ranking member, Sen Jeff Sessions (R-AL) called the group “extreme” and demanded the White House release them.
Yesterday, White House Counsel Greg Craig sent a letter to Sessions, calling his demands out of line. “You have now individually sought from a third party, LatinoJustice PRLDEF…documents that were not written, edited, reviewed, or approved by Judge Sotomayor,” Craig wrote.
The documents you are now seeking are not relevant to her nomination, just as similar documents not written, edited, or approved by past nominees have not been viewed as relevant to the Committee’s consideration of those nominees.
Anti-Sotomayor groups are no doubt poring over the memos, looking for controversial details, and, though the White House is quick to point out that Sotomayor isn’t responsible for them, their timing and defensiveness indicates they may be concerned that some of the papers will be politically embarrassing.
Sotomayor’s supporters and the White House have compared LatinoJustice PRLDEF to the NAACP Legal Fund and similar groups. For his part, Sessions once called the NAACP “un-American.”