Cory Booker's 'Spartacus' Documents Show Kavanaugh Opposed Racial Profiling Post-9/11
On Thursday morning, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) risked being expelled from the U.S. Senate by releasing confidential documents to the public. He made a big show of the act, calling it his "I am Spartacus" moment, but one of the documents actually revealed a very positive fact about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — his opposition to using racial profiling in airport security following the 9/11 attacks.
When Booker released the documents, he declared, "I'm knowingly violating the rules." He went on to say, "This is about the closest I'll ever come in my life to an 'I am Spartacus' moment."
This statement referred to the famous scene involving Spartacus, a Thracian slave who led a slave revolt against Rome in the 70s B.C. When Spartacus' revolution ultimately failed, the Romans decided to crucify the revolting slaves. In the 1960 American film "Spartacus," based on the novel by the imprisoned Communist Howard Fast, the revolting slaves each declared, "I am Spartacus!" in order to share the fate of their revolutionary leader.
Cory Booker dared Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to file paperwork to kick him out of the Senate, acting as though his stand for transparency was an epic moment like Spartacus's slave revolt. He was roundly mocked for this grandstanding, especially given the rumors that Booker is planning to run for president in 2020.
Ironically, one of the email chains Cory Booker risked his career to release publicly actually paints Kavanaugh in a very positive light.
The email exchange dates to 2002, shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when Kavanaugh served as an associate to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales.
Gonzales sent an email on January 17, 2002, addressing the issue of racial profiling in airport security.
The White House lawyer presented the question of "whether we should work toward a race-neutral system at all or whether we should instead permit the use of race as a factor in certain circumstances."
"My own view is that, as required by traditional Equal Protection standards, we must at least consider how to construct a race-neutral system," Gonzales wrote. "I can imagine such a system that could be effective, perhaps even more effective than one based on racial classifications. For instance, you could break air passengers down into groups of those with/without U.S. passports, those with/withiout recent international travel, those with/without criminal history, et cetera, and subject persons in higher risk categories to higher levels of scrutiny."