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tv   Senator Schumer on Supreme Court Nominee  CSPAN  April 3, 2017 7:12pm-7:26pm EDT

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judge gore's itch fits that bill. democrat reminds us of what david frederick, a board member of the left-leaning and democratic members said, course it should be confirmed because there's no principal reason to vote no. no principal reason to vote no. he is absolutely right. so, goes without saying that there's no principal reason to block an up or down vote. on this supremely qualified nominee. i look for to journey my senate colleagues in supporting judge gorsuch a nominee to the supreme court later this week. >> mr. president. >> the democratic leader. >> i ask unanimous consent the court be dispensed. first let me thank my friends and colleagues from nebraska for her indulgence.
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before i begin i want to express our concern here in the united states for friends in st. petersburg, russia in the wake of next lotion on their subway system this morning. russia has been in the news a lot recently, typically never serial terms. today is a time to remember that whatever differences, we wish no ill to the people of any nation. our thoughts, prayers, with the families of the russians were killed this morning. we wish a swift recovery to the injured and hope then perpetrators are brought topremt justice. now, mr. president i write this afternoon on the nomination of judge neil gorsuch to the supreme court, which was just advanced by the judiciary committee. 60 this afternoon, it has become clear that judge gorsuch does not have the 60 votes necessary to and debate on his nomination. so, mr. president now the president is shifting away from the issue of whether judge gorsuch will get 60 votes on thr closure motion toward the
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fundamental question before us. will the majority leader breakak the rules of the senate in orded to get judge gorsuch on the bench? my friend, the majority leader has said several times that judge gorsuch will be confirmed by the end of this week one way or the other.f what he really means when hewhih says that is, if judge gorsuch does not earn 60 votes in the senate, which is now the likely outcome, the republicans must underline must, exercise the nuclear option to pass judge gore's itch on a simple majority vote.dn't. i think the majority leader reasons that if he says that enough times folks will start believing that that he has no choice. but they shouldn't, it's aet premise no one should swallow. the majority leader setting up c false choice. support judge gorsuch or he will have no choice but to break the rules. maybe to the majority leader the nuclear option is the onlys
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option, but there are many alternatives. the majority leader makes up his mind independent of what democrats do on issue after choe issue.rganizations this one, he says he has no choice. if he has no choice because the right wing of the republican party, organizations like the heritage foundation will go after him if he doesn't. but he certainly has a choice to do the right and courageous of e thing. instead, republicans are playing the game of they started it. they say democrats started this process by changing the rules for lower court nominees in 2013. they failed to mention the history that led up to that change. the reason that majority leader read change the rules was because republicans had ramped up the use of the filibuster to historic proportions. they filibustered 79 nominees in the first four years ofpr
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president obama's presidency. to put that in perspective, prior to president obama, there were 68 filibusters on nominations under all other presidents from george washington to george bush. under president obama exclusively, and the first fourd years of his administration republicans filibusters 79 times. seventy-nine nominees. they deliberately kept open thec d.c. court of appeals because it had such influence over decisions made by the government, we all know the hard right federalist society and the hard right heritage foundation to limit what government can do. the deal we made in 2005 with a group of senators, the so-called gang of 14 allowed several ofha the most conservative jurors in
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the land to become judges and be confirmed to that circuit court. but when president obama came in, a republican colleagues insisted on holding three seats of that court open. they literally said they wouldat not allow the seats to be filled at all by president obama. sound familiar? merrick garland knows it is. at the time, i pleaded with senator alexander, several times. my different from tennessee. to let us vote on some of the judges for the d.c. circuit. i asked him to vote to senator mcconnell is a the pressure on our time to change the rules i after all these filibusters was going to be large. let's avoid it, i said. but senator mcconnell said no. republicans refused all of ourur overtures to break the deadlock that they imposed.
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so, if the majority leader wanta to could conduct this partisan, they started it exercise, and sure we could trace it back to k the hamilton berg. the fact of the matter is, the republicans blocked merrick garland using the most unprecedented maneuvers. now, we are likely to block judge gorsuch and that means that neither party has gotten their party's choice in the last two years. so, mr. president we can go back and forth and blame each other, but in the recent history of the vacancy caused by justice scalia's death, we both lost. we lost merrick garland because of the majority leader's unprecedented block and republicans loose on judge gorsuch because we are doing something that we think is reasonable and asking he be able to earn 60 votes as so many others have we think the two are
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not equivalent, but neither case we both lost. we are back to square one and republicans have total freedom k of choice in the situation. no one is forcing them to break the rules. they don't have to treat the nuclear option as if it is their first and only option. it is a false choice. to my friends on the other side, the answers and to change the rules, the answer is to change the nominees. presidents of both parties have done so in the past when supreme court pics failed to merit confirmation. again, the answer isn't to change the rules, the answers to change the the majority leader should have the vision encouraged to seeus past this impasse. i believe he should seriously consider a different option. the president, senate republicans, and democrats
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should sit down together to come up with a mainstream nominee who can earn bipartisan support. we are willing to meet with them anywhere, anytime to discuss a consensus nominee. democ i know my colleagues on the other side will say judge gore's itch was a mainstream nominee and democrats would never support any judge nominated by president john. we disagree. we probably can't support any nominee that is so vetting by the heritage foundation and the federalist society. they were the sole gatekeepers dedi each is well known to be a right-wing, wealthy, special interest group dedicated to moving the bench to the right. gorsuch shows it both the new york times and washington post d did analysis run by expert that showed that judge gorsuch would
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be a very, very conservative and money would say right-wing justice on the bench. the new york times that he would be the second most conservative justice on the bench. second only to justice thomas. more conservative than the late justice scalia. the washington post actually said to be the most conservative justice on the bench based on his record. even more conservative than the very conservative justice thomas. in fact, we democrats have never let special interest group speed gatekeeper. we have said to special interest group, we have never said to a special interest group is president trumped it, give us a list, will choose from that li list, that is what republicans did. we have now the bird on it. in the past presidents have done just that we are suggesting for
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supreme court justices. they saw took the vice of or hatch in nominating justices ginsburg and breyer president obama took the advice that republican senators when he picked merrick garland, a consensus a mainstream nominee.d president trump on the other hand, ignored the senate and only sought the advice and consent of right winged special interest groups when making supreme court pics. he was running, he had to sharp as a part of the hard right so a he said, i am outsourcing the entire selection process to two groups, who again are not consensus groups. they would admit that themselves. the heritage foundation and federalisthe society.
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lo and behold, the process did not produce a nominee that could earn 60 votes. by contrast, justice ginsburg earned 93 votes. justice breyer earned 87. so, mr. president, we are offering president trump and our friends on the other side a way forward. they do not have to break the rules to get a justice on the bench, they don't have to break the senate confirmation process, fundamentally weakening the constitutional principle of advice and consent to get a justice on the bench. the president, president trump could simply consult with members of both parties to try come up with a consensus nominee who could get approved and meet both the 60 vote threshold. the answer again is not to change the rule comments to change the nominee. we democrats are not going to oppose every republican nominee. of course we realize the nominee selected this way when i
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completely agree with our views. but judge gorsuch as so far out of the mainstream he is not able turn votes to pass the senate. even justices roberts and alito, two very conservative judges, earned a bunch of democratic votes in each got more than 60.t sixty-one in his nomination and 72 in the culture process. so, mr. president, the republicans are free actors. they can choose to go nuclear or they can sit down with democrat and find a way forward that preserves the grand traditions of this body. the majority leader himself has said, the one think they have agreed upon is to protect the integrity of this institution. he continued, i think we can con
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stipulate he said and this is a direct quote, that in the senate it takes 60 votes on controversial matters. mitch mcconnell, in the senate it takes 60 votes on controversial matters. he has long stood for that proposition for the many years i have been here. a supreme court seat i believe needs meets the majority leader standard for 60 votes. i hope instead of crippling the senate in a partisan way, removing that 60 vote threshold for controversial matters like the supreme court, my republican friends consider the option of working together to find a solution we can both accept. it may seem like a novel concept around here, but that option is always on the table. thank you, i


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