Although the White House said it reviewed tax returns for Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr., it has stopped short of allowing investigators from the Senate Judiciary Committee to review the returns as part of the confirmation process.

After the White House announced the Internal Revenue Service would produce a one-page summary of Roberts' returns for the committee, White House press secretary Scott McClellan noted there has yet to be any official request for Roberts' tax returns from Congress, leaving up in the air the matter if whether the returns would be provided. The Bush administration stopped requiring judicial candidates from providing recent returns in 2001, according to McClellan, although it did for Roberts.

Republicans have said the issue is beside the point, because financial disclosure statements provided by the nominee are more extensive than the actual filed returns.

The White House has begun releasing the first of the documents from Roberts' time as a lawyer in President Ronald Reagan's administration, but has so far refused to release papers from his time as deputy solicitor general for President George H.W. Bush, saying the later documents contain privileged internal Executive Branch deliberations.

Hearings on Roberts' nomination could begin as early as Aug. 29.

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