Richard J. Durbin (D - IL) Definitely No



Contact Senator Durbin
☎️ 202-224-2152
Tweet to @SenatorDurbin

12 Statements
(Statements last updated October 6, 2018 04:02 PM -04:00.)

September 28: “Because those scales have been tipped in favor of the one sworn witness who is willing to take her case before the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I will be voting no on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Durbin said. (

September 16: We cannot meet our constitutional responsibility of advice and consent without a fair and careful review of the serious and credible allegations made by Dr. Ford. The Thursday Judiciary Committee vote must be postponed and the FBI must be called on to complete a professional investigation. We also must respect and listen to Dr. Ford, who is now a target of personal attacks because she had the courage to come forward. To be clear, the confirmation process for Judge Kavanaugh has been flawed from the very start and there are already serious questions about the nominee’s credibility. (

September 11: “It is clear now that not only did Judge Kavanaugh mislead me when it came to his involvement in the Bush Administration’s detention and interrogation policies, but also regarding his role in the controversial Haynes nomination,” Durbin said. “This is a theme that we see emerge with Judge Kavanaugh time and time again – he says one thing under oath, and then the documents tell a different story. It is no wonder the White House and Senate Republicans are rushing through this nomination and hiding much of Judge Kavanaugh’s record—the questions about this nominee’s credibility are growing every day.” (

August 24: Given the possibility of criminal wrongdoing by the President, doubts that Judge Kavanaugh believes a president can even be investigated, and the unprecedented lack of transparency regarding this nominee's record, we should not move forward with hearings on September 4th. Instead, we should have a special meeting of the Committee to discuss a bipartisan, fair, and transparent process for moving forward. (Twitter)

August 23: Judge Kavanaugh also had the opportunity today to respond to a letter I sent him 11 years ago about his testimony to the Judiciary Committee in 2006. Despite his sworn testimony that he was never involved in ‘questions about the rules governing detention of combatants,’ Judge Kavanaugh confirmed to me today that he was involved with internal Bush Administration discussions about litigation and policy regarding the detention of enemy combatants. By any reasonable understanding, Judge Kavanaugh’s 2006 statement was misleading at best. I also asked him about developments this week that put us on threshold of a constitutional crisis. Fundamental questions about the accountability of the President may soon come before the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh was an aggressive proponent of investigating President Bill Clinton, but changed his view after working for President George W. Bush. He would not say today whether he believed a sitting president was subject to a subpoena or criminal indictment. The American people need answers to these questions. It would be an abdication of the Senate’s constitutional responsibility of ‘advice and consent’ to consider Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination without first obtaining these documents and answers. What is in these documents that Judge Kavanaugh does not want America to see? (

August 21: “Republicans said we are going to have a new rule when it comes to Republicans nominees from the Trump Administration in the case of Brett Kavanaugh. And that new rule said that we will not ask for documentation from the 35 months when he served in the Bush White House as the closest advisor to the President of the United States,” Durbin said. “There were a myriad of issues that were considered by the President in that period of time, and Brett Kavanaugh, then assistant-to-the President, was involved in these decisions. We won’t know what he said or did because Republicans have refused to ask for the documentary evidence of his time there.” (

August 16: As you know, in 2006, Judge Kavanaugh told the Committee under oath that he was “not aware of any issues” regarding “the legal justifications or the policies relating to the treatment of detainees”; was “not involved in the questions about the rules governing detention of combatants”; had nothing to do with issues related to rendition; and was unaware of, and saw no documents related to, the warrantless wiretapping program conducted without congressional authorization. However, at least two documents that are publicly available on the Bush Library website from Judge Kavanaugh’s time as Staff Secretary suggest that he was involved in issues related to torture and rendition after 9/11...In addition, documents that have been produced to the Committee as part of the partisan process that you have brokered with Bill Burck further undercut Judge Kavanaugh’s blanket assertions that he had no involvement in or knowledge of post-9/11 terrorism policies. These documents are currently being withheld from the public at your insistence, but they shed additional light on Judge Kavanaugh’s involvement in these matters and are needed to question him in a public hearing...Whether Judge Kavanaugh misled this Committee in 2006 and his involvement in these White House policies are critically important to our consideration of his fitness for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. (

August 10: “This is unprecedented and unfair to the American people. Senate Republicans want to wrap up Judge Kavanaugh’s hearing before the National Archives releases documents--which Republicans themselves requested--about the work Kavanaugh did in the White House. These documents may bear directly on the credibility of Judge Kavanaugh’s sworn testimony, not to mention his legal views and temperament. The American people deserve to know the true story of the man seeking a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. Yet it’s clear there are things in Judge Kavanaugh’s White House record that Senate Republicans do not want the American people to see. What are they hiding?” (

August 8: “The American people expect the Senate Judiciary Committee to carefully review Judge Kavanaugh’s complete record before considering approving him for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the nation,” said Durbin. “The refusal by Senate Republicans to even follow their own rules on disclosure of critical documents reflecting Judge Kavanaugh’s views, character, and temperament raises serious questions about concealment. The people of this nation deserve honesty and transparency in filling this historic vacancy on the Supreme Court, and that is what our request today is aiming to accomplish.” (

July 19: Judge Kavanaugh never replied to a letter I sent him 11 years ago about a misleading answer he gave during Congressional testimony on his involvement in questions about the rules governing detention of combatants during the Bush Administration. Documents pertaining to his time in the Bush White House bear a direct relevancy to a sworn statement he made under oath that has now been disputed. The Senate deserves to see every document related to his time in the Bush White House – the same precedent Elena Kagan was held to by the Judiciary Committee for documents related to her time in the Clinton White House. Let’s not hide the ball, this goes to fundamental questions of transparency and accuracy. (Facebook)

July 15: Durbin has some experience with Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The Democratic senator questioned him at a confirmation hearing more than a decade ago, and says one of his answers was later “in doubt.” Durbin says he wrote by-then Judge Kavanaugh a letter on the discrepancy but never heard back. That said: “I might say that for those who are jumping to the conclusions that they’re for or against him, I am not in that position,” Durbin said. “I have many questions to ask, and we are now assembling the evidence from his public service.” (NPR Illinois)

July 9: Brett Kavanaugh is a judge who consistently favors big business and undermines protections for consumers, workers, women, and the environment. Replacing Justice Kennedy's swing vote with a far-right jurist like Judge Kavanaugh could change the rules in America. Just as troubling, in light of the ongoing Russia investigation, Judge Kavanaugh has expressed staunch opposition to criminal investigations of sitting Presidents. With a subservient Republican Congress and a far-right Supreme Court, there is a real risk that the worst impulses of the Trump presidency will go unchecked. The stakes for this nomination are historic. (Twitter)


Back to main page