Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh once suggested the government might need an interim policy before transitioning to a race-neutral security system in airports, according to documents released by Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) office Thursday.
According to a 2002 email thread on the subject of “racial profiling” between Kavanaugh and other former President George W. Bush officials, aides discussed the intricacies of a meeting they’d had about whether the U.S. should work toward adopting a “race-neutral” system of screening passengers at airports. Kavanaugh wrote that he favored a race-neutral system, but he also emphasized the importance of addressing what the government should do in the “interim” as it worked toward implementing such a system.
“My only point was that your long-term approach, with which I agree entirely, still leaves the interim question, which actually is of critical importance to the security of the airlines and the American people in the next 6 months or so, especially given Al Qaeda’s track record of timing between terrorist incidents,” Kavanaugh wrote in the Jan. 17, 2002 email, just four months after 9-11.
In a follow-up email, he emphasized the importance of settling on an “interim” plan for the racial profiling of passengers.
“The people who favor some use of race/natl (sic) origin obviously do not need to grapple with the ‘interim’ question,” he wrote. “But the people (such as you and I) who generally favor effective security measures that are race-neutral in fact DO need to grapple — and grapple now — with the interim question of what to do before a truly effective and comprehensive race-neutral system is developed and implemented.”
Booker told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during Kavanaugh’s hearing on Thursday that he was going to release a file of documents, specifically, the emails on racial profiling, which he referenced while questioning Kavanaugh on Wednesday. The records were deemed “committee confidential,” but Booker said he was willing to suffer the consequences of releasing them, a move that was rebuked by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
Read the records released by Booker below: