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Senate Democrats on Thursday called for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito to provide them with more information about his time as a federal judge and a government lawyer, citing “questions that seem to have incomplete answers.” The White House said it was just part of a ploy leading up to Democratic senators opposing Alito, who was chosen by President Bush to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Alito, who worked as a federal appellate judge, a federal prosecutor and a government lawyer before being nominated for the Supreme Court, submitted thousands of pages of documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee last month as part of his answers to the committee’s questionnaire. The committee asked him to provide it with copies of all of his speeches, reports and Supreme Court cases, but Democrats say Alito did not submit several speeches, memos and Supreme Court cases. “We are aware that you worked on at least three cases which you did not list and for which you did not provide materials,” Senate Judiciary Democrats said in a letter to Alito asking him to explain the discrepancy or submit the material. The eight Judiciary Democrats also say Alito did not give the committee 50 memos he wrote or supervised as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, and did not explain why 21 of the 50 speeches he listed were missing. The White House said Democrats came up with a strategy in July to block any nominee that Bush sent to the Senate. “One of the tactics they outlined was to make repeated requests for documents and more information for the specific purpose of erecting a straw man that they could then knock down for the purpose of delaying the hearings,” spokesman Stephen Schmidt said. “It is somewhat worrying that they may be implementing that strategy to obstruct and delay, as opposed to keeping commitments to make sure that the hearings are fair and dignified.” The Congressional Black Caucus also announced Thursday it would lobby the so-called Senate “Gang of 14″ to oppose Alito’s confirmation because of what it called his hostility to discrimination cases. “We think these are extraordinary circumstances,” said Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., the caucus’s chair. The “Gang of 14,” made up of centrist Republicans and Democrats, agreed earlier this year to not support any filibusters unless there were extraordinary circumstances. Members have said they have yet to see anything that would rise to that level, and at least two Republicans said they would oppose attempts at a filibuster over Alito’s conservative philosophy. An Alito opposition group, IndependentCourt.org, also announced Thursday it would increase its advertising in Maine and Rhode Island, homes of three GOP “Gang of 14″ members. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law and the Justice at Stake Campaign estimate that the group has spent $131,594 between Nov. 21 and Dec. 4 on its ads criticizing Alito. “After lagging behind their foes all summer and fall, liberals are turning up the heat and conservatives are unlikely to cede them the field as the confirmation hearings approach,” said Bert Brandenburg, executive director of the Justice at Stake Campaign. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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