Bench Memos

Cornyn vs. Schumer

Senator Cornyn’s office released this a few minutes ago:

Sen. Schumer is once again attempting to create a false impression about what actually occurred at Justice Ginsburg’s confirmation hearings. Unfortunately, he omitted significant portions of questioning and neglects to include Justice Ginsburg’s own explanations of her answers.

In fact, Justice Ginsburg declined to answer Senators’ questions 55 times, on issues including:

Gender discrimination

Voting Rights Act and other race discrimination issues

Gay rights

Rights of the disabled

Religion and the separation of church and state

Restrictions on abortion and taxpayer funding for abortion

Death penalty

Foreign relations and criminal justice

Even in the issue areas that Sen. Schumer previously emphasized, such as abortion, Justice Ginsburg answered only those questions to which the Senate already knew the answers.

Justice Ginsburg was not alone. President Clinton’s second Supreme Court appointee, Justice Stephen Breyer, likewise declined to answer Senators’ questions 18 times, on issues including:

Gender discrimination

Race discrimination laws


Death penalty

Criminal defendants’ rights

Separation of church and state

Government regulations of industry

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