tv Senate Filibuster Looms as Gorsuch Nomination Heads to Floor on Party- Line... CSPAN April 3, 2017 8:37pm-1:13am EDT
[inaudible conversations] >> ms. klobuchar? >> no. >> mr. franken? >> no. >> mr. thune? >> no. >> [inaudible conversations] >> according to the vote, the majority having supported the nomination. the nomination will be reported to the floor. >> now the full senate judiciary committee meeting on judge neal gorsuch nomination. this hearing is just over four and a half hours.
[inaudible conversation [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, everybody, particularly the large crowd who is here to view this committee meeting this morning. we have much to do today so i appreciate everyone being here. we have three nominees on the agenda. all are ripe for consideration. neal gorsuch to supreme court. rod rosenstein deputy attorney general, rachel brand to be associate attorney general. i want to explain how we have
going to proceed in addition to the supreme court nominee we need to report out the nominees for deputy attorney general, associate attorney general. we all understand it is important for the department of justice to have senior leadership in place. my intention is to have everyone speak on the judge and then vote on his nomination then we will turn to rosenstein and brand. i will have a statement on both of them that i am going to put in the record so we can keep things moving regarding the judge for the most part everyone has already indicated one way or another how they intend to vote so there isn't a whole lot of mystery about how this is going to go at our committee meeting today. but regardless everyone should have an opportunity to explain their vote so everybody can keek speak as long as they want to.
but my hope is that members can try to keep their remarks within ten minutes so that everyone can speak and we can proceed in an orderly way. now, i speak, then i will turn to the ranking member. today we are considering the nomination of judge neal gorsuch to serve as associate justice of the supreme court. over the last couple months, the nominees opponents have tried to find fault with him that fault will not stick. and of course, we have seen it not work. before the president made his announcement, the minority leader of the senate declared any nominee must prove himself in his words mainstream to get
confirmed. well, that task ran into trouble the minute the president selected the nominee. he was confirmed to the 10th circuit 2006 by unanimous vote. in the ten years since, his record on the bench has proved the judge falls well-won the mainstream. he has participated in 2700 cases. he has voted with the majority 99% of the time and roughly 97% of those 2700 cases were decided unanimously. two of his former 10th circuit colleagues, one a reagan appointee, one was a clinton appointee, remarked upon and i quote them his fair consideration of opposing views, his remarkable intelligence, his
wonderful judicial temperament expressed to all litigants and his college attitude. you get fair like remarkable, wonderful from people that served with him during that period of time, some appointed by republican presidents and some appointed by democratic presidents, and then you wonder what the uproar about him is all about? legal commentators across the political spectrum recognize he is mainstream. even rachel madow said the judge is quote a fairly mainstream choice you might expect from any republican president. end of quote. once it became clear that judge
gorsuch is mainstream opponents then moved the goal post and set a whole different task. any nominee of president trump's, the minority leader said, must prove he is independent. of course, there is no debate on this question either. the nice that, let me turn the phone off here. the night judge gorsuch was nominated, president obama, solicitor general wrote a new york times op-ed entitled quote why liberals should back neal gorsuch end of quote. the solicitor general argued that one basic question should be paramount quote is the nominee someone who will stand
up for the rule of law and say no to a president or a congress that strays beyond the constitution and the laws? he answered his own question quote i have no doubt that if confirmed, judge gorsuch neal would help to restore confidence in the rule of law. end of quote. he went on to write that the judges record "should give the american people confidence that he will not compromise principle in favor of the president who appointed him". it is for these reasons and others, david fedric, argued in an important piece that there is "no principle reason to
oppose" the end of neal gorsuch and we should quote applause such mind and appearance of supreme court nominees. then another task independence charge didn't stick either. next, we heard the judge is against the little guy and therefore for the big guy. this is really a strange criticism considering my colleague, the minority leader praised justice sotomayor as a judge who quote puts the rule of law above everything else even when doing so results in rulings that go against sympathetic litigants end of quote. and the judge himself proves how absurd this argument is by sighting a number of cases where he ruled with a so-called little
guy. but regardless, it is, of course, a silly argument. no judge doing their job considers the status of the litigants before them when deciding cases. that is why liberal harvard law professor noah felder described the critique judge gorsuch doesn't side with the little guy as a quote truly terrible idea. the rule of law isn't liberal or conservative. or it shouldn't be. end of quote. in other words, a good judge listens to the arguments regardless of who makes them and applies the law regardless of the results. so that didn't stick. so next we heard that the judge hasn't answered questions. that argument is basically a
complaint we won't tell us how he is going to vote on a whole host of legal questions he might have to deal with when he sits on that bench. it undermines the very independence that we demand of the supreme court and his nominees. his approach is con isisant with the canyons of judicial ethi ethics -- consistent -- and consistent by the position taken by justice ginsburg. she put it this way "a judge sworn to decide impartiality can offer no forecast, no hints, for
that would show not only disregard for the specifics of a particular case, it would display distain for the entire judicial process". judge gorsuch's comments reflect the ginsburg principle. so, at last, after all these charges levelled against the nominee and his record have fallen flat, we learned the nominee should be opposed because of his record, not because of his record or qualifications but because of clients he said or the groups who now support him. we have heard criticism of the judge's former client, the department of justice, and its litigating position.
opposition on these grounds may be created but they are in fact baseless. here is the inconsistency. judge justice kagan, for example, argued as solicitor general that could government could constitutionally ban pamphlet material. when it was raised at a hearing she said she was a government lawyer acting on behalf of her client and that client was the same united states government gorsuch had worked for for a while. today the other side is arguing all of a sudden that government lawyers should be held personally responsibility for every legal position that the government takes. so, once again, that argument doesn't stand up under scrutiny. finally, of course, we have
heard criticism of the advocacy groups and his quote unquote spending dark money on issue advocacy. i think it speak volumes that the nominee at the end of the day after reviewing more than 180,000 pages of documents from it department of justice and the georgia w bush library and thousands of pages of briefs he filled as a lawyer in private practice all his detractors are left with is an attack on the people who support the nomination. now, as a senator who has participated in 14 supreme court hearing, i must say these comments strike me as really odd. to hear my friends on the other
side tell it is only conservatives, outside groups who are engaged in the nomination process but we all know that is not true. it is no secret that the there are dozens of advocacy groups on the left who are involved in the nomination process and there is nothing wrong with that. we call it free speech. the group called the coalition and justice. the american constitution society doubted justice kagan as a quote justice for every american. where did their money come from? i don't know and i suppose a lot of people think i shouldn't say
i couldn't care but this is america where people can spend their money where they want and use it for political speech or any advocacy group they want. they nounedy from -- found him an ex treme candidate. everyone in the room knows the liberal and progressive groups are pressuring any reason to filibuster the nominee.
a role has run ads to press member do is filibuster. we had some groups target a senior and an extremly well sprekted democrat over his quote unquote squishy comments. in short, they said any democrat who supports the nomination is very dark. they followed me all over iowa and ran commercials and put up billboa billboards and even had a plane pulling a banner over an event. can you imagine that plane travelling around iowa saying
grassley do your job. or mobile billboards saying do your job at every town hall meeting i had. all over touting free republicans that were ashamed of grassley. tv ads, radio ads, paid staff bringing people to my town meetings. op-eds. cluttered by town meetings withtricers. and even brought in someone from washington state to make sure everybody knew how bad i was. that is what i know about dark money. in america, we do things in this representative for our democracy. i tell people up front in opening the town hall meeting. i say this is what representative government is
about. i am one half of the process, you are the other half and how can you represent the people if you don't have dialogue? this is part of our democratic system. i have never heard any democrat complain about the money spent last year. we had a debate about the course we took for the senate and court. we said we would process the nominee and we are. nine o'clock on election night everybody thought that hillary clinton was going to be president of the united states. but months before, i said whoever is elected president, we will process that nominee and that is what we are doing right now.
i disagree with the groups on most issues but i don't try to intimidate or silence them. the bottom line is this. if you don't like the fact that issue advocacy groups are engaged in the process the remedy isn't to attack or intimidate but the remedy is to support nominees who apply the law as it is threatened. the remedy is to support nominees who leave the legislating to the process. leave the policy making to the other branches which brings me back to where i started. judge gorsuch is imminently qualified. he is a mainstream judge whose
earned the universal respect of his colleagues on the bench and in the bar. he applies the law as we write it in congress. this nominee we are voting on today is a judges's judge. he is a picture of the kind of justice we should have on the supreme court. so, i urge you to join me in supporting his nomination. senator feinstein. >> thanks very, much mr. chairman. in my view, this isn't a routine nomination. i want to begin with comments about what made this different for me.
the first, of course, is what happened last year which is unprecedented. as i noted in our last meeting, throughout our nation's history, a total of 19 supreme court justice have been nominated and confirmed and three have been nominated and confirmed after the presidential election took place. there was simply no reason that the nomination of judge garland could not proceed other than to do nigh the then president of the united states, president barack obama, to ability to fill the seat. that is what has taken place. secondly, press reports indicate that 7 million dollars of dark money was spent to defeat judge garland's nomination. this too was unprecedented. however, with the nomination of
judge gorsuch, the spending of dark money has only grown. the koch brothers through concerned veterans of america and other donors through the judicial crisis network plan to spend at least $10 million on a political campaign to support judge neal gorsuch's nomination. since then the national rifle association launched a one billion ad buy and just last friday, they targeted specific senators. this nomination isn't the usual nomination. it comes in a different way. it has proceeded in a way of
judge course its record to hear from the outside witnesses is very much appreciated. in reviewing the list of the decisions on the tenth circuit to stand out as appearing to indicate his view of how law should be interpreted and whether president should be overturned. the first for tasman talked about before but the case of trans am tracking the driver was stranded in subzero temperatures for several hours with frozen bricks -- brakes on the trailer with no heat in the cabin. it was so cold he could not feel his feet after waiting hours for assistance he was instructed to drive a cab and the trailer together or
not at all but he could no wonder stand the cold he unhitched the trailer and drove to get help in because of this u.s. fired. the department found he was illegal fired to refusing to operate the vehicle into fact ministry every few board in the majority of the tenth circuit all agreed that the was a legal fired to operate as instructed by his employer. so he argued in his dissent the term operate should be interpreted by the oxford dictionary that operate should include only operating the cabin and that the employer could fire him with impunity.
my find this striking. second judge gorsuch argument ignored the reality that he was given an impossible choice to risk your life or the life of others on the road. bill and then the judges are not evaluating cases interpreting law in a vacuum. but the cases are brought real people in real-life. and in fact, to know that the narrow interpretation of the words operate was based on one dictionary while they found another dictionary definition that supported their reason of the statute so which did share they happen to select cannot determine whether the just
outcome is achieved in the case. and then the father testified before with perkins was diagnosed with optimism in 22 months and has he got older the amount the structure he needed increased. in response his parents and grandparents did all they could to dig deeper into savings and getting support from the school district from the idea after they were denied. the independent hearing officer of the united states district court said the school district was wrong to deny funding but when the case got to the tenth circuit he inserted the word
merely in the standard of up to this point the tenth circuit that had to be more than diminish mess and has luke's father testified felt that the education for my son even one small step above and significant was acceptable. and then decibel ingredient in this league rejected the gorsuch interpretation of the law during a hearing. and then to go out of his way for what the law should
be even with devastating effects on people slides. and i hope he could better explain his judicial philosophy's at this hearing. but that did not have been and the judge gorsuch view word difficult to discern because he refused to answer many questions and even basic questions that had been inserted by previous nominees. for example, senator blue fall asked lead judge if he agreed with of results of brown v board of education. rather than in greek that the school should be segregated instead he said it was the correct application of president and to impeach clear when he
asked if he supported brown judge gorsuch refused to directly answer. in contrast with justice kennedy was asked about brown he replied, '' i think brown v board of education was right when it was decided and it would be right if it was decided 80 years before'' in another exchange asked about allayed the recent laws to restrict access to voting these profound to target african-americans with surgical precision. senator frank announced about allies but he would just ask if he was efforts to disenfranchise separate american voters?
question has one easy answer but instead of agreeing he ducked the question and responded'' if there are allegations of racism error in the legislation there are a variety of remedies. even justice and legal was more candid even justice alito replied i had personal experience about how valuable having people with diverse background can be a diverse student body is a compelling interest. going even further, 1987 senator biden asked justice kennedy not what he thought about affirmative action generally the weather the voluntary plan is legally permissible. he responded yes
unfortunately judge course a chancellor was so diluted with ambiguity one could not see where he stood on big and long settled cases asking about his work cut the department of justice with the defense of the use of torture despite providing relevant documents judge gorsuch only said his memory is only what it is and isn't great and the position that he took on torture was the position that the klan's right telling him to take not only did he not answer my question he raised an additional concern i strongly believe when you work for the government as a lawyer or policymaker it is
important to comment on the legality of the issues to say i didn't tim wanted is not enough particularly if the legality is contradicted by law and treaty and i believe it is important to remember the context of this point of country was involved in detaining people in definitely leaving with no rights or opportunity to challenge the government also decided the executive could order the use of certain enhanced interrogation techniques lead included a broader boarding and sleep deprivation as well as a host of other techniques which will lead an but did result in death in debilitation of detainee's.
april 2004 when the public first learned about the prisoner abuse chronicled from of the grave then ngo information was leaked to the media the department of justice had issued a legal opinion that stated the enhanced interrogation techniques were within bill law of leslie inflicted pain associated with organ failure or death george -- judge gorsuch reached out to the white house approximately six months after the revelations to say how. >> guest: did to help the cause and to be a full-time member the team than marched 2005 he reached out to a republican national committee who would vouch for gorsuch as a true when
list and conservative. judge gorsuch joined the bush administration and through our examination we learned during his tenure of the department of justice he was involved in efforts to strip detainee's to have habeas in federal court defend and protect the position on torture and issue an expansive signing statement on the dtb treatment. these were used to highlight parts of the law the administration tended not to follow. and we learned that judge gorsuch advocated for the bush administration to issue a broad signing statement
that it could be used to help inoculate against the potential of having the administration criticized in the future for not making sufficient changes in interrogations policy in light of the mccain portion of the amendment clearly this puts down a marker the view that mckean is best read to codify existing interrogation techniques nothing could be further from the truth judge gorsuch e-mail shows a knowledge of the bush administration position on torture and demonstrated the efforts to codify existing interrogation policies such as water boarding and other
extreme techniques. i lost again about his view on enhanced interrogation techniques igo something about them from the intelligence committee while i was chairman and i have a classified status over 7,000 pages with 32,000 footnotes that document all love this and i tried to understand his opinion with the right and wrong if he was disturbed by what our government was doing unfortunately once again the answers i got were not responsive for example, i ask him what he meant when he suggested a signing statement would inoculate the administration of later criticized for not making sufficient changes to the interrogation policy based on the mccain amendment he
responded he was a lawyer advising a client and the client was arguing the mccain amendment codifying existing policy in his defense that he was only doing what his client wanted him to do many colleagues have praised his qualifications and there is no question he is well educated and credentialed it is not just to resonate if it was every nominee would pass unanimously to evaluate not only the experience but also the philosophy and temperament and views on
important legal issues. we do this because if confirmed, nominees decisions will affect the lives of americans for generations. our job is to assess if the nominee would protect the constitutional rights of all americans and of the nominee recognizes the humanity required to evaluate the case is before hamburg unfortunately based on his record his time on the bench his time in the senate and written questions for the record i cannot support this nomination thank you very much. >> the senator from utah. >> thinks for making comments about the nomination but i will remind my colleagues about the
traditional practice regarding supreme court nominees. that was memorialized in and day letter june 2001 by patrick leahy and by myself as the then ranking member of the committee. mr. chairman i ask consent to be placed in the record at this point. >> is is the judiciary committee traditional practice to report the supreme court nominees to the senate wants the committee has completed its considerations this was cited several times last year after they demanded a hearing this is nothing about how the committee should consider a particular nominee the best way to evaluate depends on many factors last year we faced unique circumstances
although irrelevant last year it is relevant now because the of completed our consideration nomination there's only five current committee members that were here in 2001 of one to make sure everyone is aware of the past practice. the conflict over the course origination is not about whether is prior nomination are vice and consent of course they do. to promote the left and they're right anybody thinks they have not moved mountains for less supreme court nomination is living in a parallel universe north is a conflict over the nomination to show they had a right for the nominee that is what the checks and balances are for.
they give the power to nominate judges 11 vice and consent on the nomination of president and the senate legitimate exercise power / year in the conflict over the course origination is about to radically different ideas of the rule of judges in our system of government are founders want us to interpret and apply the of what that they cannot change individual cases. law, not the judge determines the results in a way to change will lobby of their idea that deciding cases as a means to the end to address issues is of financing political interests. this view sometimes they
should change the law to get desirable results would judge not the law but the judge's supporters agree on one important thing that we both believe he will apply the law impartially in light of the parties who could be affected so that is why he should be confirmed and he shed we filibustered and believe independence within its proper role of government that will lead design is necessary judge
gorsuch opponents see it as an obstacle to overcome with the politicize judiciary that is why the demand he prejudge the cases and comment on issues and take sides even before the cases come before him the democratic leader repeated over the weekend if he cannot get 60 votes then the solution is to change the nominee that is different from the position each time the white house goes under republican control it is due as he says now not as he did then. this support guide for the confirmation process the choice deface is impartial or political judges with those that follow the law or attempt to control the law judge course h. is superbly qualified and is tacitly
supported regardless of ideological views to be impartial and fair and open-minded and he has had support from some very liberal lawyers who know how good he really is the help they will support him to become a justice of the united states supreme court. >> mr. chairman with all the practice your of paddling a everybody to be heard is a good thing.
democracy. and then caught lying about the communication. was forced to recuse himself after he revealed he misled the committee to say that they will not respect the independence of any investigation with the deputy attorney general to face extraordinary integrity of the will consider the nomination so little loan
someone familiar as a special counsel and americans deserve investigation into inspire public confidence the issue is too important so he is assured me with russian interference of our election is on the american side not on the russian side. i trust they hold true to the statement. but if confirmed there of the other criminal test whether they continue to support the justice department to focus on the
most serious criminal appellate - - penalties digest what you to know where will vote for the nomination today because i expect them to do the right thing. the other matter is judge gorsuch i said weeks ago i was approaching this nomination with an open mind my vote on the supreme court nomination has never been about partisanship i have evaluated and voted to confirm six supreme court nominees from republican presidents. i'd like the republican committee unprecedented treatment against judge garland i take it to
independently evaluate the supreme court nominee seriously and that includes judge gorsuch. for those of us who hope he would use the confirmation hearings to show the type of justice team could be we were disappointed. based on his record have concerns and his views as he brings a partisan agenda to the court he did nothing to allocate those fears. i cannot recall a nominee and i have voted every member currently on the supreme court refusing to answer such basic questions about the principles underlying our constitution how he interprets those principles these are
fundamental questions to ask every nominee seeking an appointment to the highest court several could have been answered with ease asking about fishing or basketball he would stonewall to avoid any response actually he was excruciatingly evasive the sworn testimony is to comply in the confirmation process this is a disservice to the american people.
judge course sedge claimed he did not want to judge a potential case i will except that but only within reason it should not undermine the meaning and purpose of the constitutional provision he may not say he even agreed to certain landmark education including brown v. board of education nobody would disagree with that case to say even if the equal protection clause applies to women and refuse to say if the framers of the first amendment permits the religious litmus test refuse to talk about the extreme interest groups and refuse to to confirm if he would
continue to recuse himself from matters involving those millionaires at the tenth circuit actually hoped he would lead be more transparent and forthcoming away from the lights and camera but he declined and refuse to acknowledgement that congress has more powers even though every high-school student knows the constitution gives congress the power to declare war again attempting to evade my question about campaign finance laws he provided no answer to the supreme court decision from shelby county answer the
question about women's rights or contraception whether prohibits the president is opposing religious litmus test in the london trump's administration claims if the is not the issue with his travel billion income practice any religion or none but we live in a country that does not impose a test soyinka is not responsive testimony makes it difficult for this committee to fulfill the constitutional duty to examine the judicial philosophy to evaluate the nomination i should be
of the majority leader appears to bring that to as the most recent statement amplifies that. previous nominees both republicans and democrats have been questioned in a substantive way. in the atlantic it was condescending and basic and even dishonest. [inaudible] but nonetheless trumps style. that description has the vision of donald trump.
judge gorsuch didn't do enough to prove him wrong. he refused to say the same thing about a woman's right to choose and in the same position taken by president trump who promised time and again to nominate justices that were overturned. in fact, the personal views did not matter. he refused to discuss and in the article in the atlantic, he implied the role of a judge is one that calls for neither values. i ask the article entitled fundamental dishonesty be included in the record. record. >> without objection, so
ordered. >> the american people know better. certainly the people i hear from in vermont. we know the court decisions especially supreme court decisions are not simply detached application principles they are matters of interpretation but also often matters of justice. one supreme court justice said more than a century ago we take our seats at the bench not struck with politeness and forbidden to know as judges what we see. whether you have knowledge or not there's a lot about his sense of justice.
they wrote the policy department as it was noted and he discredited a that the executive power. as a judge it limits the rights of workers and women and children with disabilities as he reads for broad constitutional questions to enhance the agenda. judge gorsuch complained about liberals and the rights that he had no problem rubberstamping the social agenda and employers could control the access to contraception. when the groups looked at the record they liked what they see. the leader said the process was driven not by, quote, who is a smart lawyer and who's been accomplished, but by a certain
understanding like we do, "-end-double-quote. we know they have a clear agen agenda. these groups are confident that he shares their agenda. that should concern all of us. i've thought a lot about this and whether i could find a way to support him. when i read the decisions of the nomination, i did so knowing that he was conservative and knowing my own party leader was going to oppose him but i also believed in the commitment to restraint in minimalism and other democratic senators voted the other way and i respect that. chief justice roberts took him
at his word he didn't have an ideological agenda. i said then that a vote to confirm a meaning. compared between the words spoken to us in the actual record when viewed in isolation perhaps the words would appear satisfactorily but viewed in the context as unprecedented as the interest groups and the judicial record evidence on convincing. these are extraordinary times. this is an extraordinary nomination. last year -- 100 years of
bipartisan position to do donald trump blank partisan bidding. they held the eminently qualified nominee hostage with the sole intent to deny president obama and appointments to the supreme court, and the appointment he had every right by law to make. since taking office, president trump has focused his attention to the communities most at risk by the choice for the supreme court. a nominee that shares his agenda through since refused to address any substantive issues during his testimony. it's left the american people with only unsolved concerns.
to deprive a vote on the full senate floor. a majority leader is promised to protect it is necessary to make sure donald trump blank nominee is confirmed. even if that means forever damaging the united states senate. i respect this institution as much as anyone. i never expected to be here long enough to become the dean of the senate, but i have and i've devoted myself to the good the senate can accomplish. but i cannot vote solely to protect an institution when the rights of hard-working men are deserved because what i would be
defending would no longer exist. i've often said that the senate had best can be and should be the conscience of the nation. but i must first and foremost vote my conscience today and later this week. my conscience will not allow me to ratify the majority leader's con actions. i will not and cannot support this nomination. thank you mr. chairman. >> senator graham. >> thank you very much. i appreciate the way you run the committee in the days of talking about judge gorsuch, i will vote for him with a very clear conscience for whatever that matters. one thing we need to look at is the ada. i don't know how they missed everything. they interviewed 5,000 people.
500 people with a 900 page report that puts him at the top of the legal profession. i think they missed the part about where he earned plus the versus ferguson. actually, i meant that. i don't know what hearing you all are at it and to sa to say s man somehow wishes brown v. board of education wasn't decided, somehow wishes for the days before griswold is a bit of a stretch. here's what he said. cases in controversy or his life's work. you don't just drop by the supreme court to say i would like to get rid of board feet board of education. there is a system for a case to get to the supreme court. that system is pretty well
established and when it came to griswold, he pretty much explained the system that means somebody somewhere would have to pass a law outlawing contraception between married couples. some politician would have to do that somewhere. so somebody would sue and the supreme court would have to take the case and he said i cannot imagine that crazy scenario that's number one, we would take the case and that somebody would pass a law going back to the days before griswold. but here's the deal. if all that happens, shouldn't he listen to what they have to say if the supreme court decided to take that case which they wouldn't come if a politician could convince other politicians to go back to the period, the point is to suggest judge
gorsuch has a disdain because he won't give you the answer that you think he should give his a bit of a stretch, quite frankly unfair to the judge. so we have had one successful filibuster of a supreme court nominee and that was bipartisan. by the end of the week, that will still be the case. we will not have a successful filibuster of the supreme court nominee because if we have to, we will change the rules and it looks like we are going to have to. i hate that, i really do. senator schumer who is a good friend and we work on a lot of things keeps talking about mainstream and reasonable as if he knows what reasonable is on our side of the aisle. do you have any idea how offensive i find that comment in light of what i did voting i
thought they were reasonable and mainstream and progressive and the mold of president obama he assured the democratic base that she was a progressive and i expected that. i expected them to be people president obama would choose, not somebody i would choose. the only thing i ask of these ladies is are you really qualified for the job, you have the character, temperament and judgment. i thought that they did with flying colors and the people on our side, some outside groups, some people inside the senate tried to suggest that she wasn't fit for the job because when she was working at harvard, she supported using the rotc unit off campus. i didn't like the fact that they
kicked it off the campus at harvard but if you look at the way that she lived her life and the way she performed her duties as judge and solicitor and everything else, it was hard for me to believe she was unpatriotic and therefore not qualified to sit on the highest court of the land. it made me believe she was a harvard, nothing more, nothing less. i remember she gave a speech one time about judges and said white men will have a hard time understanding some of the situations that exist because they are white men. so that created a big dustup on our side that somehow all of a sudden she is a racist. look at the way she lived her life, she interacted with a lot of people for a long time and all of them had the same view of her that she's a well-qualified
and extremely capable articulate and good person who had been a mainstream judge. so i didn't buy for one second that because she made a speech somewhere about diversity that all of a sudden she wasn't fit to serve because that would suggest she can't be fair to white men. if you look at her life and listen to what people have to say about her you would realize pretty quickly she was qualified and was not a racist. when i hear senator schumer say change the rules, that is an absolute slam on a fine man. we are not going to change the nominee. when it comes to the judicial philosophy, i have no idea what the judicial philosophy is. he's been to court a loss i can tell you that. he appreciates the courts probably more than any other president in history, but here
is what i do appreciate, he listens to people and understands what they conservative is all about. he listens to a lot of people and he came up with a list that i applauded him for. i can vote for any 21 people he put out before the election and they say he's under investigation he shouldn't be allowed to pick. a bit of a stretch but let's say mike pence, who is he going to pick. say it is paul ryan. let's say i got 99% more support than i got running for president. who would i pick? i would have picked him. you can't do any better over here. i think that they were great pics and i think that neil gorsuch is a great pick and will be a great member of the court. and he's going to get there. there is nothing wrong with him.
there's a lot wrong with modern politics and the senate. and we can all look in the mirror and find blame somewhere. the bottom line is when it comes to the qualifications, they said it best. the writing of well-qualified is reserved for those strongest affirmative endorsement. when it comes to brown v. board of education and griswold, that is just a bunch of political theater. i think they saw the judge for who he really is. mainstream, competent, highly qualified for all the people that served the judge in a variety of roles throughout their lives and his. they told us without any hesitation he's one of the finest people they know. so when nancy pelosi says if you breathe the air, drink water, eat food, take medicine or in any other way interact with thee court, this is a very bad
decision i think that says more about nancy pelosi then it does about the judge gorsuch. so, from a qualification point of view, there is no argument. from a character point of view there is no argument. from the outcome of the election, i am glad president trump chose neil. he couldn't have done better and i didn't expect him to win. this is what i said march, 2016 after telling everybody on my side she's going to pick somebody probably more liberal than president obama is going to send over in a few days. i'm going to vote for that person if they are qualified. joe biden told us what he would
do if a vacancy occurred in the last year of the bush 41 term. they talked about a republican going to retire and here is what he said. if someone steps down i would highly recommend the president t cannot name someonis not named p a name. if bush did send someone up i would ask the senate to consider not having the nominee. that was se said at the time the primary process was ongoing in 1992 in the last year and when you look at the history of the senate i think there is one time a president said if somebody was confirmed in an election year. the bottom line is i don't think that he was treated different or unfairly than what you all would have done. and let me just say this to your face if the rule was reversed i don't believe for one minute that you would have given the accommodation that you are asking us given the behavior of what you've done in the past.
so this idea of somehow that this has happened in bush 43, you all allowed him after the primary season was about to pick somebody and put him on the board and defy history is just laughable to me given what you've done. senator schumer and a few othe others, bush 43 in the first term, i was in the gang of 14. we lost two circuit court judges as a result of the deal but the extraordinary circumstance test held until 2013 and in 2013 with the concurrence of president obama because i called him and asked him please don't do this he said i have to. you have been unfair to me. i think you just change the rules for everything below the supreme court. that is a chance to grant power and yo few granted it's so whenu complain about garland it is like the arsonist complaining
about the fire. it doesn't bother me one bit. although he was a fine man givet in the way the senate committee then the reality. what does bother me is where we are headed. we are headed to a world you don't feed one person from the other side to pick a judge. that means they are going to be more ideological, not less. it means every senate seat will be a referendum on the supreme court. they are not required to do so if they don't have to do so.
as to this fine man, i regret that he had to go through some of the things he's had to go through and the hearing was pretty well well conducted by t and a lot of you asked good questions. some of his answers were taken out of context if anybody believes he wishes for the days of a country. i decide cases and controversi controversies. i can assure you they will not be settled and we will fight on our side and push the con that. it's one of seven nations in the
world that allows an abortion and in that case if it ever becomes law if we ever get it through the senate. here's what i can tell you about judge gorsuch. he will listen and the very emotional case involving the autistic young man in the circuitcircuit that is exactly e should have done. so as to the detainees, it's not just somebody in the abstract i am talking about. i know the senate voted for my
my conscious is clear about a lot of things. i remember all the nice things said about me when i decided to be the one on our side this qualified to sit on the court. i say that knowing my faults. i am a republican and partisan at times like all of us tried to play it fair and tried to honor regardless whether or not the person i voted for. don't follow my political advice on who to vote for but i do believe that i'm following the constitution into the traditions
that have been in existence for 200 years. antonin scalia got 9 98 votes ad kennedy got 97, clarence thomas 58 and i think we all know what that was about. ginsburg, 96, robert 78, 68, kagan, 63. this will be the last person that will be subject to a filibuster which was in effect in 1948 because the senate traditions are going to change for this man based on the times in which we live and i find it ironic and sad we are going to change the rules over somebody that has lived such a good life
it has been such a good judge it says more about the senate than it does about judge gorsuch. >> thank you for your administration hearing. hearing. i'm honorei am honored to repree city of chicago with basic stories that are taugh talked te newcomers on the political scene and one of them involves the former judge many of us knew personally. he decided he wanted to volunteer to work on local campaigns for the united states senate and at least deepens in. so he went to the headquarters and the timothy sullivan was there.
he said i would like to volunteer to be part of the douglas stevenson campaign so he took the cigar out of his mouth and sent said who send you. we don't want anybody. he told that story because it gets to the heart of a lot of places that it is a fair question. why are we considering this man for employment to the highest court in the land. the answer is obvious. we know they were given the responsibility coming up with a list of nominees to fill the vacancy in the supreme court.
candidate donald trump announced that with 21 names. in fact the federalist society takes pride in the fact that under republican presidents, every appointment to the supreme court has been a member of the federalist society or cleared by it. think about that for a second. i don't remember seeing the federalist society and the constitution but they played the role when there's a republican president. they pick the supreme court nominees. if you ask them what do you use as a criteria i will go back to another story. the name of the cecil and he had politics for every reason. what's a good reason for their selection of nominees? it goes back to the speech by edwin meese to the federalist society where he tried to come
up with basic definitions of what they were all about. he said that they were rooted in the text of the constitution and is illuminated by those that proposed and ratified it. he called the federalist society a jurisprudence of original intention contrasted with the misuse of history for things like concepts of human dignity which they turned the constitution into a charter for judicial activism. have we heard these phrases, original was on, over and over and we are told rest easy. he is an originalist but if you are going to get into a real analysis of what it is all about, be sure to read the words of justice william brennan who said anyone that ever studied in the archives knew better than to believe that a constitutional
convention offered so certain in a singular verdict is that which they expected to find. they called the idea that modern judges could assert the original intention, quote, little more than arrogance and humility. so excuse me if i'm skeptical about the good reason that federalist society gets to pick judicial supreme court nominees for the republican presidents. perhaps let me suggest a real reason. who belongs to the federalist society and who funds the federalist society to the point made over and over by senator white house they allow the donors to remain anonymous but some do disclose if they contribute who would they be. try the koch brothers, the family foundation, trie try the mercer family which i am reading more and are about billionaires
who believe they want to control this political process. do they have an agenda? of course they do. we see it all the time and that is what this decision process has become. so here comes gorsuch presenting his credentials and we have the chance to ask questions. we know he's received the stamp of approval in the heritage foundation and we ask basic thec questions to try to understand if he a captive of the special interest group or is he something else. and the questions we asked my expectations were on the senate floor. i asked can you demonstrate as a supreme court justice you would uphold and defend the constitution for everyone not just the corporations but the privileged elite. can you demonstrate that you will be an independent check on
this president or any president, can you show that you are prepared to disappoint the president that chose you and the right-wing groups that have taken credit for your name coming before the committee, and i said you need to be forthright about what your values are. today is the opening day of the baseball season a few blocks away from here and unfortunately for those questions, judge gorsuch went over four of them and said he wants to be the judge based on his own record not based on anyone else any ono let's look at his record. case after case he favored corporations and employers and special interest. the very folks to send the nomination to the committee. he favored them over workers, consumers and victims of discrimination. he said he follows the text of the law and the original intent yet we can find patterns that
selectively focus on some part of the text but not on others. this poor frozen trucker out on interstate 88 west of chicago, 14 below given the choice between freezing to death and sitting there and waiting for a repair man for dragging a trailer out on the interstate and endangering his life and the life of others, my friend and colleague said it was an absurdity and he specialized in this in a previous life. in this situation seven judges took a lot and six of them said it was clear he did what any person should do and he shouldn't have been fired for it but the one judge didn't see it that way. judge gorsuch. the case if you would recall in the midst of the hearing in this
room, the supreme court unanimously an opinion written by justice roberts, unanimously struck down the very words written by gorsuch when it came to this poor disabled child in his education. i have to disagree with my friend from south carolina he wasn't just applying precedent. read the exchange between. he was doing more. he was reaching into another circuit and was embellishing that standard with a word that clearly has the supreme court found that the kids would get no education at all. we didn't talk about grace much at the hearing but we should have. professor at kansas state university diagnosed with cancer facing a bone marrow transplant she was given six months off for this important operation. this was to return to the classroom at the end of six months but there was an
influenza epidemic on campus and she said to the people at the university i'm afraid to go back. i'm very vulnerable having just gone through a bone marrow transplant and they said if you don't return to the classroom, you're fired. it was judge gorsuch that wrote the opinion that said there wasa reasonable opinion by kansas state. i don't think it was but it's a reflection on his values and the dissent contorted the authority and argued workers that were locked up whether a windfall if they received full back pay almost like keeping their wages from second jobs. i won't go through all the list of cases we have heard them all and they do paint a very troubling picture of judge gorsuch and his values. there is a pattern in the cases. he claims to support natural velocities but somehow time and again they lead to the same outcome, the worker to the victim, the consumer lose into d
the corporate elite when. he is als has also shown he doet want to follow the law he wants to change it in some cases. federal judge john tea john t. e here and testify under oath that made the comment in the hearing he said and i quote judge gorsuch is the only judge i know, only judge of who i am weary he said in the majority opinions in the concurring opinions in the same case. why would a judge do that, considered one of the cases where he wrote the majority opinion that call for abandoning the chevron doctrine that we spent time talking about a it fits well with some people that want to deconstruct the administrative state for reference but it would depend the ability to enforce the civil rights consumer protection and environmental walls.
they told us time and again about the efforts to ensure the indigent efforts look at the record it is a perfect record 52 opinions but they never found the ineffective assistance of counsel. the dissent would have found no prejudice for a defendant when the attorney said they didn't accept a plea deal and then falsely told the client they would accept a ten year plea agreement instead of life without parole. i asked about the case and they still thought he had a good representation. the republican appointees disagreed into the reasoning was later rejected by the supreme court when they held that the accused must have guidance from an attorney in deciding when to take a plea deal.
he's provided no reassurance for a check on the president or any president. we learned a lot about his e-mails at the justice department and it was handled so well by senator feinstein. for my colleagues that's never tidier of breaking up the 2006 confirmation may i remind you of the obvious at the time we didn't know about the troubling record of the justice department and we certainly didn't have the judicial decisions where she told the playing field was torn away from american families. certainly one that is used by most nominees come before us but i think that he developed it to a new level. he said virtually nothing in this hearing about the chief of staff declaration and that he was a man with a vision whatever
that means. no one has solutions about what's going on here and we know when people talk about the american bar association rating have qualified for the first thing thaname that comes to my s garland. if that were the standard we put into the meeting in this formal session we would be celebrating the first anniversary of the year on the bench but we are not. we are here because of republican strategies and the rest to line up the vacancy for the next republican president. there's been a lot said about the damage that can be done with this nomination and the votes taken. it breaks my heart to find us in this position. i love this place and i've been here a big part of my life and i can remember things about it as the senators that are as senior as i am or maybe more can remember about the institution and what it used to be like,
what the standards used to be and the pride we took in the senate. but then came this onslaught of filibusters unprecedented in the history of this body, senator mcconnell and the republican majority at the time even in the minority status did everything they could to stop the consideration of the nominations leading to the point with the most important dc circuit court of appeals was basically frozen and couldn't fill vacancies because of the threats of filibusters in the nominations and that is what led to this discussed change and that is what brings us to this point. my friend said that the traditions will change this week. in honesty they started changing a long time ago. i hope we can resurrect what this institution was all about
and still should be about. this nomination doesn't give us the chance unfortunately and we know what the faith is going to be. i have comments on the other two nominees but i would ask us to withhold the statements. >> i'm going to. you don't have to but i'm going to. >> at the hearing i was impressed by the fact he survived republican and democratic presidents and was u.s. attorney. he certainly comes with high recommendations from the senators from maryland. i was troubled when he said he hadn't read the interference in the election. he responded to a march 13 letter and said i'd read the report and, quote, he had no reason to doubt the assessment and i thank him for that. he also clarified th that the
recusal of attorney general sessions, and i thank him for that. he would still bear the responsibility at the justice department investigation into this labor war against the united states and i hope that he will appoint a special counsel for that purpose and also have responsibility over criminal justice efforts in the department of justice. i am concerned about the sentencing guidelines which the attorney general sessions is now suggesting. i am going to vote to report to the committee to withhold a final vote on the floor until there is a clarification about its vote this week. the former president of the national association of attorneys has been picked as the deputy attorney generathedeputyp deputy on the criminal justice posing the media report says pete a hardliner picked to carry out the violent crime and the former federal prosecutor supports the controversial policies calling for lengthy prison sentences and members of
the committee will remember mr. cook from his 2015 testimony be opposing the bill which the chairman of the committee and i support in the sentencing reform and corrections act. let me say again as briefly as i can, i believe i have to oppose for three reasons. she spent much of the decade working as the chief counsel for the chamber when i asked if she would refuse herself for the matters involving the chamber she wouldn't make that commitment. we need that assurance. second thing i'd concerned about the refusal for key questions and i will propose in the record. third, refused to say whether man-made climate change is real and whether there is a public interest in addressing it, troubling for a person that would oversee the justice department's environment and natural resources division. i will assure she will be treated better than the nominee for the attorney general who was
never given a floor vote by the republicans. we will get a vote and i will both know. your statements will be put in the record. >> thank you for the way that you have conducted these hearings that this markup and giving everybody the chance to express themselves. listening to our colleagues across the aisle, i can't imagine the pressure that they are feeling to oppose this nominee. but if they are going to oppose him to the supreme court of the united states, they will never vote or support a nominee of this president because in the end, i think that is what really gets them the most. we keep hearing about garland, but i guarantee if hillary clinton had won the presidency, we would never hear his name again because she would have had the opportunity to pick her own nominee to the supreme court and
the chairman is exactly right. we essentially made this presidential election on november 8 a referendum on which of the candidates do you want to pick the nominee to the supreme court to fill the vacancy left by the death of justice scalia and the american people answered that question and said they preferred president trump to make the selection as opposed to a potential president hillary clinton. so, i do not envy our colleagues who know they have a qualified honorable good public servant in this nominee. judge gorsuch is an outstanding choice by the president and given the circumstances indirectly by the american people, i would urge my colleagues to recognize those obvious realities and support the nominee.
i would encourage them at least give the nominee and u in up orn vote on the senate floor. let me go back and cover briefly some of the criticisms of the nominee. first, our colleague said the judge won't give me an answer to a hypothetical question about how i might rule on a future case, that they will no doubt every supreme court nominee has appropriately refused to answer those kind of questions. how would you feel as a potential party lawsuit in the judge's court if the judge already told you how they would rule before you had the chance to present your case? you wouldn't feel like justice was being done and it's not. that's why judges routinely refuse to answer questions about how they would vote and how they would render judgments in future cases.
we saw that from justice ginsburg, all of the judges who have come before the committee have held to that same standard so that does not hold water. but like i said we've heard a lot about garland and i doubt that we would if hillary clinton had wo one and i will leave it t that. they complained about outside groups. federalist society, other nefarious organizations supposedly that are exercising their rights under the constitution to speak freely and to support a nominee who they believe executed the duties of the office. how outrageous that somebody would have the freedom to advocate on behalf of a nominee to the supreme court.
the alternative our colleagues suggest is not the kind of america that i want to live, one where the government decides who gets to speak and who does not get to speak. our colleagues may not remember but i am member the judge talking about a 195 the 1958 cae called naacp versus alabama. they sought to get the membership list of the naacp for what purpose? you can guess for what purpose. what did the court hold? the united states supreme court said under the first amendment to the constitution, you have a freedom to associate with anybody you want to and if the government is going to use that information to intimidate you and prevent you from the freedom of association that violates the
constitution of the united states. we hear from our colleagues about dark money, unidentified contributors. there's $5 billion spent by hillary clinton, donald trump and their friends in the last election and you're saying that the $10 million that is being spent on this nomination somehow is influencing how people will vote? it is just ridiculous. let me repeat or maybe restate that in a different way sum up what senator graham and others said how we would find ourselves here. there has never been a partisan filibuster on the supreme court nominee in american history, never. this will be the first. sometimes people want to talk about 1968.
that was a bipartisan failed cloture vote. the judge for days after the nomination was on the court asked that his name be withdrawn and ultimately re-signed because of ethical lapses. that is not precedent for neil gorsuch. that is just an excuse. i daresay if she is unacceptable there would never be a nominee by this president that you will find acceptable. never. how did we get started with filibusters, while we know there was never a partisan for the bastard of the judge to the supreme court before this one. and actually, it was an innovation of our colleague across the aisle doing backups
to the election there was a reported meeting who figured out george w. bush won the nomination hell d how do we stom from getting confirmed in the daydream of this idea that we could say instead of a majority vote, which we all thought the constitution required, we could say you can't get confirmed unless you get 60 votes. in other words if the senate rules preempt the constitution itself that precipitated quite a crisis in the senate i recall senator graham talked about it. ultimately there was a bipartisan group of senators that entered into an agreement that saw most of the president's nominees being confirmed and i
think two of them were not confirmed so that's how we got started down this path. it was our democratic colleagues after the election when they wanted to stop the nomine nominm becoming confirmed. what was the next iteration of that? after they cooked up this idea they found it to be an impediment to their desire to pack the dc circuit court of appeals. the quarte court had primary jurisdiction over the state during the obama administration and it was a bold power grab. the purpose wasn't to fill the bench with people where they were needed in the so-called judicial emergencies because people were backed up and couldn't get a hearing in court because there were not enough judges. no, this was probably the least
hard-working circuit in the country that they sought to pack the court of appeals for no other reason than to rubberstamp president obama blank administrative state. we didn't like that very much to say the least, but that was the latest iteration and now apparently we have come full circle. never before a partisan filibuster a supreme court nominee until this one. and our colleagues say this is going to be the end of the senate as we know it. this will return us to the status quo before they erected the requirement giving the administration of george w. bush. theoretically filibuster of judges but it just didn't happ
happen. clarence thomas was confirmed with 52 votes. there wasn't even a vote on cloture. so we've come full circle mr. chairman. some say when we confirmed judge gorsuch somehow that will be the death of the legislative cloture requirement that i would just remind our colleagues we treat nominations and the legislation differently for a good reason. the senate is supposed to be the cooling saucer when it comes to legislation passed by the house of representatives and that is an important role particularly when you are legislating for 320 million plus people. when the question is up or down on a nominee, you can't change that by amendment.
there isn't any consensusbuilding. you have a choice, yes or no. it is a far different issue, so i disagree with those that say this is the end of the senate as we know it. this is a restoration of the status quo before the democratic colleagues had this requirement. so i'm proud to say that this good man and this judge offered himself to serve the country on the supreme court would be confirmed by the end of this week and he should be. let me join my colleagues in expressing my appreciation to you for the collegial way in which you have conducted this hearing. let me say that there is
actually another way to do this. nothing prevents a president from announcing a consensus nominee for the supreme court with both standing beside him. nothing prevents that. this president chose to go a different way, choosing the candidate off list put together by what might be considered front groups for the big special interests and there's a significant backdrop to that concern. let's go back to 1954 for starters. playing in his first year on the bench, colonel warren was faced with the monumental case brown v. board of education of topeka kansas. he knew that the court had to finally answer the call and finally strike down school
segregation across the country. drawing on his experience in politics, the chie chief justico knew that such a far-reaching decision needed unanimity among the justices on the court and the chief justice has worked through draft after draft on the opinion until he had forged that essential consensus. this example of consensusbuilding appears to be lost starting under chief justice rehnquist with increasing under chief justice roberts, the conservative appointees on the court consistently deliver for the republican party and big business in a recurring and disturbing array of 5-four decisions. they've been anything but
control of the house against a majority vote of the country in 2012. with shelby county both five / four the conservative knockdown protections of the voting rights act allowing republican legislators to target reporting voters that the fourth circuit called surgical precision and three more cases citizens united included has unprecedented political power of two big republican donors as those republicans of leash of a tsunami of slime to the american alexian is throwing a our political system into chaos and predictably in vintaging republic'' - -
sojourn understand the stakes that the justices can help the court find its way back to robust protection of democracy and not so relentlessly of moneyed corporations in the trial of strength of popular government for this nominee to be unable to say that dark money is a play on our democracy is disqualifying and it is pungent with the beneficiary of a dark many campaign of the nomination this can deceive was born on a list prepared by a front groups and announced to the nominee by the leader of one of those groups and
system does not require us to trust anyone person is the law in the constitution and the system which properly followed ended minister bill result in the cool application of a law to the individual so we have seen from my colleagues is an explanation to the complaints that people have about judge gorsuch that because they are not directed other than his approach for something that resulted from the conduct of a third-party not being considered for the nomination of the supreme court or to blame him from the zero law.
these laws are actually made by congress or the president set by the tenth circuit in he has followed faithfully. there has been a suggestion sometimes his implicit or explicit that judge gorsuch is beholden to individuals that express support for him and it is a very serious claim. there is nothing there to back that up. many of them continued rather recklessly.
based on individual or a corporation. but from that has happened on the supreme court the judge with whom you disagree a so-called judge while imperfect is one that i would put on par with many letters have -- committees assigned a letter asking judge course h. with one of these organizations in particular to recuse himself if confirmed to the supreme court of the misstates from any cases involving the organization but this
may weigh in on a particular nominee but to my knowledge that no inserting public pressure on any outside organization. and then having to speak on the nominee's behalf to advocate without that organization so i'm like to enter for the record in connection with the nomination of justice taken and to teach 20 -- justice sotomayor in addition there
are a number of other groups that over time have expressed one way or another blair support for opposition for the supreme court nominee. people for the american way and the not a single republican or a single democrat to suggest that any nominee can identify to recuse oneself of anyone contributing to those organizations. nine case of justice sotomayor 45 for anyone else.
some of my colleagues have characterized this from citizens united with this line of reasoning to a pulled the disclosure rule in citizens united that ignores the use that part of the decision to uphold the disclosure requirements that in a different case to a poll the other disclosure requirements. and as mandated by a federal law that without legislative discussion so let's talk about changing the law but make sure it is not something the supreme court
did not do. do especially to extend the sitting federal policy. that is congress's job and the inadequacy of the law. but opposed to the little guy but with chairman grassley alluded to with those statements professor of law the harvard to be self-described liberal law professor laurie furred to the attempt to smear judge
gorsuch as a terrible idea but after explaining the terrible idea include a the fact signing with of workers is a stance they should not decide those cases based on the belief of how the law should be interpreted. so professor feldman a self-described liberal is right as a bedrock principle in the rule of law based on the identity of the individual party.
with this is one of the reasons why is judge gorsuch explained and even to agree with his serve her opposition. and they're there to decide the cases of the indemnity of the party. if you think it was wrongly decided and if you think this separate opinion was wrong then make a legal argument and statutory tax and how that was interpreted. if you are worried about the driver in the tranten
trucking case talk about statutory construction rather than the outcome. if you want anyone to defend the law was written that is a different equation altogether that is congress' fault. if you want to talk about whether or not the employer made the right decision to terminate the driver i don't think anybody would do that that was a foolish decision. i don't think judge gorsuch disagreed. and before that could be legally appalled and then to very carefully analyze would not judicial intervention
and exactly this is what we need but if you disagree with the legal analysis rather than on the basis of live the identity everyone in this committee is familiar i can only assume where they cannot identify enough of the reason to disagree perhaps they want to change the subject to something else. but judge gorsuch has decided his years on of bent they ignore the cases resided with the little guy like goodyear is, and who
judge and the tenth circuit he never sits alone. with 97 percent of the cases the ruling was unanimous into being in the majority. that is not the background of the judge. if you don't think he could be confirmed but that the approach. at the end of the day still focal to imagines a judge said is more will prepare credentialed with the
interpretation and statutory construction and temperament i am honored to support the confirmation of judge gorsuch and encourage my colleagues to do the same. >> before you go wintertime will not start of one to consult as they did with the ranking member as there is to ways we can do lunch. we can adjourn at 1:00 or few want people could go one by one to go eat i am willing to stay here until we get done. can i have a consensus of what to do? cement could the majority catered lunch?
nominee of the philosophy they qeii the chairman had they conducted the hearing of but there were several and foremost a judge's that those are not the cases of the supreme court never in the low-grade area so for me of the nominee's record with the cases he could do with on the supreme court like campaign finance house as he responded to that kind of cases and but would he do
into finding common ground into fine the area on consensus and to come together at that moment. but then to go step further the veba provocative approach and that is what concerns me when you get to the supreme court level. some of my n other colleagues i have sat through and find it difficult of that out right indignation of the senate rules because when i hear the litany of those zero -- those votes the numbers for
urd justice k. again -- justice kagan or justice alito what about judge garland? o. because this senate decided for almost an entire year we have not seen the senate did not take action since the civil war. at would prefer to take the challenge and focus on the nominee himself. over the consideration i have decided not to vote in favor of a nominee. critical cases to including
rights of children with disabilities campaign finance and preserving health and safety that has led me millikan not support the nomination i did not agree with every opinion but what i saw a time and time again was a judge that had the contract between the judicial approach to write narrow consensus decisions and more towards the ideological position and a law of those were key in senator been mentioned the disability case the especially after you raise the supreme court the day we
had for george -- judge gorsuch to reject the standard that judge gorsuch had come up with a nephew years back on the tenth circuit idea is important with kids with disabilities but 24,000 kids rely on this live - - law to protect their education at occupied ascendency once held by a hubert humphrey who was someone who was never a loss for words delivering a speech 40 years ago interstate and the line of the speech is still just as appropriate of how the government treats those the
elderly and the shadows with the sec and the disabled. so adjust to makes ago the supreme court ordered the principal ruling against the narrow interpretation of the idea embraced by judge gorsuch with the opportunity for kids with disabilities. to reject the merely more than to minimus standard all children those with disabilities to succeed in life and every justice on the supreme core as the duty to edged on the supreme court building but to
explain his ruling he said he was bound by precedent to use the more than minimus standard so i spend a law of time looking at that and if you look at the cases when he was on the tenth circuit and made a number of findings talk about the standard and to take on the challenge to say what it says but but they also
mentioned uh tenth circuit case that was bound by a broader standard so then here comes judge gorsuch 2008 to cite the case from the past to use it to support the standard not even when it was decided on. but it shows to go a step further. but as i said during the question -- questioning more than the menace mean something it can mean a long
way at p. added the word really that puts a even closer to empty that is what i don't believe he was not bound by a president and even if he was he changes to add the word merely so i just like colleagues don't really say this is an example of someone bound by precedent because it wasn't a was an example of someone he made an opinion may be other people agreed but they are the for a supreme court justice. and then went further in he needed to do. second. campaign finance. and was a cinch united dark
money as my colleagues have pointed out added today hundred million dollars for the past six years with an outside influence on politics with representative democracy with campaigns of both sides of the aisle from and what they say about you of those that have no control over how o does this apply to the judge? i would not bring it up if he did not make a decision that was relevant to this area of the law. so a narrow case of a campaign finance laws apply
unlimited undisclosed money it undermines the election and shapes the public's trust in the process edged on the supreme court building. asking the judge again and again he had many opportunities but never told us the proper legal standard what the laws would be if not using the ones that were used. and yes there is no real sense. but with campaign finance the words of justice scalia for his words of disclosure to require people to stand up in public foster's civic
courage without democracy is doomed a did not report to raise society into even exercise is the direct democracy of initiative to protect from the accountability of criticism. this is not the home of the brave. the most raking example of a decision made by the judge merely based on the fact and then from the concurrence of his own opinion. that they have a consensus opinion but he did a concurrence to his own opinion and would be on the fact to suggest overturning
the long-established president and insurance that they are made from the experts that could handle them to embrace by justice scalia, 132005 under decisions that those rules of health safety education will stay on the of books they protect the pension money of aggression store worker that was based on chevron with the difference between life and death and
the judge's approach to the law would have titanic implications of aspects of our averred -- everyday lives to say it is time to face the behemoths to put compromise protections and to create widespread uncertainty. to overturn chevron would create tremendous uncertainty i did not get a straight response in he did not know the consequences would be. and then monday was writing the decision. what does this mean? that the judge has repeatedly gone beyond the facts of the case with the
far reaching effected of the disability decision to write opinions that our profound consequences for go and chief justice robert said when all it is said and done nearly more than the minimus process can be offered in education and think of justice white that we greatly in meyer but justice white has been described as with focus to decide only the case in front of him. time and again avoiding abroad the radical basis of a decision where narrow fact of rationale so there is the
reason because it is not as clear as they were like sometimes there's more than one reasonable interpretation. and it is not the 97 percent of the lower-court level but the really hard cases. and it is a discretion the justices interpret the law evenly with a good judgment of humility to recognize such as the noted my opening statement looking at his answers last week i am reminded the law professor of a federal jurist with the
chevron to interpret the labor depart rule. and ran the court stripped away to be unlimited super pac spending it was the granma in minnesota when she sent occur senators $10 as a contribution i can tell you not kisio whose life was saved by the mining safety rule but the minnesota worker would go down 1500 feet every day in a cage with the black lunch bucket saw other kids could go to school. those are the people
affected by the supreme court of the united states my dad to end of the first kid in his family to graduate from high-school in going to key in a college and university of minnesota still remember this as a little boy to see the caskets laid out in front of the church because they did not have saved urals i believe we need justices who understand the laws better and we need those justices to understand to uphold the model of the supreme court building equal justice under law. that is what i will not support the georgia -- judge gorsuch be an associate
justice of the supreme court. >> i appear to have a defective microphone. >> move the microphone. >> i'll try to help push the schedule for word i will say before the floor but i think it is obvious the senate is not a healthy institution that is a long time in coming baseball is back in the judge's one step closer to taking his seat on the supreme court. with how these hearings were
my colleagues focus on the wrong part of the speech because further into the speech from which was quoted that he says'' mcafee president george bush at the time consultant cooperates with the senate or moderates his selections absent consultation then his nominee may enjoy a my support as did justice kennedy. no error garland was a moderate selection five days before they nominated to be interviewed from the vacancy the president told me he was
nominating a moderate but i don't believe him. obama could easily named garland was of fine man with this is about the election. but as it turns out of the forthcoming election president obama ed did name a moderate. part of what made him a moderate pick he had a reputation for working with his colleagues on the d.c. circuit touse draft day strong consensus and ask him how he does that. p. told me to decide the
case on the most narrow grounds possible by contrast is nominee judge gorsuch. he doesn't seem as concerned as a senator talked about. even agreeing with the majority he frequently writes his own opinion setting his own view. with two concurring opinions that he himself wrote that is not seeking a vatican since this and then to write separately that the decision would have been different if he could have persuaded the colleagues to see things his
way or to point the way but that thinking gives me concern particulate in light of what president trump and his staff have been saying about judge gorsuch the chief of staff along with the chief strategists interviewed judge gorsuch before he was nominated he later appeared before right wing activist and told the crowd that just a scorched - - justice gorsuch would bring about 40 years of law. so that is what this is about. this is about confiding a consensus nominee for a this
is guaranteeing 40 years, 40 more years of five / four decisions favoring corporations to prevent americans from getting access to the court to favored dark money and a permission slip to target certain people with almost surgical precision in order to make it as difficult as possible to vote now a dead great pains to paint himself as a nominee ruling unanimously 97% of the time
but that is not unusual that doesn't provide any insight insight, with the courts of appeals set the precedent in the vast majority of the cases so low as some accuse democrats to cherry pick were the judge wrote separate concurring opinions those offered the clearest window into his philosophy that show us how judge gorsuch really think some time afraid that these only underscore a disturbing pattern of siding with corporate interest against everyday americans of was
struck by his dissent with trans am tracking because in that case he tried to side with the trucking company involved heard the story senator feinstein described it today but i just want to review the two choices that the truck driver was given by the trucking company after he had waited three hours and 14 below 0 degrees temperatures he had fallen asleep only to be woken by a
to go on the interstate at 2:00 in the morning with frozen breaks the fastest is 15 miles per hour is icn dark people are traveling 85 miles per hour this time of night if you go over the hill night you come down on a semi going 15 miles per hour into a semi bettis stopped that is the second option. so he does what any of us would have done he drove the
cab down the road to get warm. after he warmed up he came back. but he was fired. for abandoning the cargo. the results law to protect people in the situation so he filed the case said the three judge panel agrees the trucking company should not have fired him but one judge dissented. but then the hearing analyst what he would have done if he were driving a truck which would you have chosen?
to the road with the unsafe vehicle what would you have done? to say saturn i don't know why was not in issues. but judge gorsuch says he decides the cases based on the factum the law alone. but that is the majority. a person may not discharge the employee refuses to operative vehicle because the employee has reasonable apprehension of serious injury the majority rules they cannot fire the truck driver because he refused to
>> the company made the choice he made. otherwise he may very well have faced a wrongful death claim. which they probably would have tried to arbitrate. everyone knows what judge gorsuch would have done. in madden's situation. everyone here in this room knows, if judge corsets would have given an honest answer he would have said that he would have done exactly what the
driver did. judge gore said she just did not want to admit it. that's because there is no good answer to the question in the hearing. if judge gorsuch had said that he would do the same thing as mr. madden had did, that would make his dissent look every bit as absurd as it was. but if he would've said i would've done with the company told me to do, that would've told us that he is really bad judgment. of course he knew what he would have done. i defy any of my colleagues who come to me after this and say to me, he did not know what he would've done. he just was not being honest.
he wasn't being honest. >> frankly there are a lot of questions that judge corsets did not answer and response about his judicial philosophy and even about bedrock constitutional principles, judge gross it should dodge, and deflected his responses to democratic members of this committee they were cagey and evasive. mr. chairman, some questions may have been taught but they were all fair. judge gorsuch has been nominated for an lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. so, my democratic colleagues and i take seriously our responsibility to thoroughly examine his views. that is our job.
that is what our constituents expect of us. that is the point of the hearing. i'm disappointed that judge gorsuch wasn't forthcoming with his answers. in the absence of answers we have to rely on his record and his record is not reassuring during his time on the tenth circuit. judge corsets has consistently ruled in favor of interest in sighted corporations over workers and consumers. and corporations over women's health. if confirmed he will guarantee more of the same for the roberts court. the court that is already inclined to side with big business. more than any supreme court since world war ii. i do not believe that the corridor country can afford.
in light of judge gorsuch as record, and in the absence of sufficient answers and honest answers to questions that propose during the hearing i oppose his nomination. i urge my colleagues to think about that. to think about a judge when asked a straightforward question, in my judgment did not answer truthfully. thank you mr. chairman. >> senator, thank you mr. chairman thank you for the way you conducted this whole process. in 1987 i was here in the senate as an intern and the office of a democratic senator my wife at
the time was here as an employee in republican senator. she answered the phones, it was during the time of the robert hearings. i remember being in all of this body, this judiciary committee and watching this committee deliberate. judge rourke was extremely controversial. he ultimately was voted down on the senate floor, but he was not filibuster. in 1991, we're still here living in washington at that time. my wife and myself, we watched the clarence thomas hearings. extremely controversial. probably the most controversial nominee of our time. he received an affirmative vote on the senate floor, very close but he was not filibuster.
one senator during either of the hosts nominations could have demanded could have filibustered and demanded the closure vote. not one senator did. in 2003 i was in the house of representatives watching the senate. in watching with a lot of admiration those who formed the gang of 14 to try to avert what we're seeing today. remember thinking, where have we come, why are we here, why can't we adhere to the practice that has always been you give the president's executive calendar deference. you allow people to come to the floor for a vote. later this feet week, we'll likely be forced with the prospect of changing the rules.
i think we shouldn't be here. i have not voted on the supreme court nominee. i have voted on controversial cabinet nominees in the past couple of years when loretta lynch was put forward to replace eric holder. it was not popular with my base and it still is in. i hear about it just about every day. i voted to confirm her. i do not agree with her philosophy. as lindsay has said about other supreme court nominees, she behaved in terms of philosophy about his i expected she would. she was true as to with the president who nominated her expected of her. but, i thought she was qualified. and with extra nurse circumstances the president ought to get his or her nominees, at least we ought to get a floor vote. i wish mr. chairman that we
would, instead change the behavior of senators rather than change the rules of the senate. i think we are where we are. i hope that in the future when future nominees come up to my hope that if i'm in your position in the minority, that i will vote to advance at least a floor vote the presidents nominees and i will commit to do so if the person is qualified. i think under any stretch to say that this good man before us, judge gorsuch is not qualified, some may quibble about decisions or dissents he may made, i would argue in the case that has been racing much that it demonstrates precisely what edmund burke described as the cold neutrality of an impartial judge. he himself said that if a judge
goes home at night and agrees with every decision that his main is probably not a good judge. because of his only client is the law they will likely not agree to not feel good about decisions that are been made. i think he's a good man and i think he's really qualified. i hope we can advance them tune up or down vote on the senate floor. >> i like to thank my colleagues for the thorough and respective way it's been conducted. there's been hundred and 12 supreme court justices in our
history and these jurists have decided cases and shape the interpretation and application to influence the lives of generations of americans. some of the cases are celebrated turning points in our nation's long quest to form a more perfect union, cases like brown versus board of education that ended racial segregation in schools, cases that ensure that all even criminal defendants, all are entitled to counsel. cases like oberto felt that the love our line that loving couples can affirm their commitment in marriage whether their opposite sex or same-sex. their signature cases like dred scott or others that have left stains on our history that have outlasted the service of anyone justice. since justice antonin scalia passed away i've reflected on the importance of our supreme court the senate's responsibility to evaluate the president's nominee to fulfill
the vacancy. just over 25 years ago i was a law school in turn on the senate judiciary committee for the then chairman joe biden. at that time i heard from long serving senators a record of grievances, misunderstandings of wrongs committed, one party against the other in a variety of confirmations in here in the bush and reagan administrations in before. i'm struck that half the committee serving her to has not previously participated in any supreme court confirmation on this committee. when justice clea died i : president obama to nominate a consensus candidate to the court that would help us bridge or deep partisan divide and enhance the legitimacy of the court on which the rule of law depends. president obama did just that way that. he nominated chief judge merrick
garland. by accounts of the most confirmable nominee severs nominated to the supreme court. instead of healing the wounds, new ones formed. republicans held the seat open for over 300 days without regard to the damage of doing so to the court or to the spotty. and i appreciate my colleague senator franken's defense of the speech once given to my former boss. the me be clear, this action by my colleague was unacceptable and has scarred this process in the spotty. as previously remarked, there has never been a partisan filibuster of the supreme court nominee in history. and while technically correct, i question what a seven-month refusal to hold a hearing or vote is if not the longest partisan filibuster is on this committee. i have not forgotten the injustice done to merrick
garland and either have my colleagues. but we cannot move this committee and body forward if we simply and endlessly obsess over past grievances and revenge. and so, unlike the majority leader who announced before there is any nominee for president obama that he would get no hearing, i pledge to treat president trumps nominee fairly and i did so. throughout this process i've kept an open mind. after reviewing judge gorsuch as record, after meeting with him twice and participating in four days a very well-run senate judiciary committee confirmation hearings. submitting questions and getting feedback from thousands of delaware. i have decided that i will not support judge gore stitches domination and the committee today. i appreciate that judge gorsuch is an intelligent jurors, and engaging writer.
i might his commitment to being a good father and a good husband and a good mentor to his clerks. i agree with many of his decisions. but i believe my role in evaluating his nomination is more than reviewing his resume. it is more than recognizing that he is smart and charming. i have to do more than think about a large number of consensus decisions. the law is shaped by circuit courts and the supreme court by handful of very significant signature decisions. and thus i must follow my predecessors practice in considering his philosophy. and its impact on the constitutional rights of others, even very different from his self values different from his own that's why my questions at the hearing focused on his view of american rights to privacy and liberty to make their most important personal life decision. at the hearings i focused in on
the tenth circuit case written by judge gorsuch, hobby lobby which, for the first time allowed for-profit companies to refuse to provide thousands of employees access to family planning based on the for-profit corporations religious beliefs. i laid out in great detail questioning why view that is not just a strange reading or an overreach but it's one that's outside the context of previous law. i can summarize it best by quoting the chief judge dissent to that same case. it struck me she stressed that judge gorsuch view was nothing short of a radical revision of first amendment law as well as the love corporation. that such views were unsupported by the language. in his concurrence and hobby
lobby judge gorsuch said that the broad freedom information act in which a an employer could avoid complying with any neutral applicable law to avoid complicity in the wrongdoing of others and i asked him to give me a limiting principle to this new complicity theory and was left in the end with more questions than answers. i also asked about his understanding of core constitutional provisions that protect reproductive rights. in his 2006 book, the future of assisted suicide and euthanasia judge gorsuch was critical of individuals rights to make their own to end-of-life decision. and he asserted that all human beings are intrinsically valuable on the taking of life by private persons is always wrong. his book another, and suggest a very narrow interpretation of a key precedent in absolute central case to addressing
personal liberty and reproductive rights is protected under the 14th amendment to process law. safety is a precedent that the supreme court has relied on for 25 years to protect the freedom of many equity most recently the freedom of same-sex couples to have intimate relationships and support marriage equality is the law of the land. in each of these issues judge gore sick avoided responding to questions. he avoided responding to questions that many other nominees nominated by both republicans and democrats have not just answered but answers squarely. he told me the casey decision remains an open question in many ways. he would not agree with me the right to privacy today expense to protected women's rights to have a ptolemy and protecting the privacy of consenting adults whether same-sex or opposite
sex. this and many more left me concerned that he harbors a restricted view of the right to privacy and personal liberty. let me be clear, i don't think these and other issues raised by my colleagues are just nearly partisan issues. i think it's unfortunate if we lead the public to view members of the supreme court as red pegs or blue pegs deciding cases along partisan lines. there many cases decided not along partisan lines but along lines that are narrowly legal. 60% of the cases decided by the court they are unanimous. several justices nominated by republican presidents have appreciated this point. the important role of the 14th amendment. they have taken a far more restrained view of their judicial role then judge gorsuch as role would suggest.
judge gorsuch as record shows the tendency to explore broader issues the what is necessary to decide the case before them. a willingness to revisit settlements as others have discussed his insisted the chevron doctrine should be revisited. the long-standing presidents that ensures in deference to agency experts. for me, even more troubling he suggested restricting access to federal court fractions brought under section 1983, a critical tool for civil rights enforcement. based on these and other concerns have detailed my question for the record and for the statements i made all ultimately vote again judge gorsuch nomination today. still, i share the view of many of my colleagues that he is a
talented, experienced jurists. i understand why all of my republican colleagues will support him and while some of my democratic colleagues will support him as well. i cast my vote aware that he will receive the required votes on this committee to go to the full senate. read a historic moment, thanks to actions, decisions and mistakes made by both democrats and republicans over recent years we have eroded the process for reaching agreement and dishonored our long tradition of acting above partisanship especially when it comes to confirmation with judges and justices. i said last week it would be tragic if his confirmation process lead senate republicans to join the leader in abolishing the 60 vote threshold. let's be frank, the majority leader has assured us he will abolish the rule if eight democrats don't support him on
the senate floor. i don't agree with that approach. but like it or not that is the reality. on thursday the full senate will participate in what is called a closure) is one of the many long traditions in the many americans may not know what it means, it means we are done debating. we are ready for the final blow. must always the combination of democrats and republicans are required for us to get to closure. on thursday will be voting to decide for ready to finish the debating. i'm not ready to end debate on this issue. i'll be voting against closure unless were able as a body to sit down and sit down to avoid the nuclear option and sure the process to fill the next vacancy is not a narrow process but an opportunity for both to weigh
in. the reality were and requires us over the next several days to consider what both democrats and republicans are doing to this body. and to consider what both republicans and democrats have done to erode the trust that has long-lasting between us. and to consider if we can stop the undeniable momentum toward abolishing the traditions that make the senate unique and apart. democrats, including me are furious at the way judgment carlin was treated last year. the traditions and principles are crumbling and we are poised to hasten that destruction this week. for my part i hope and pray that we can find a way together to find a solution. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. judge gorsuch has shown himself to be a judge of unwavering commitment to our laws and to
upholding the separation of powers defined in our constitution. american bar association prides itself on being arbitrator. and as we've heard today they have bestowed on judge gorsuch its highest possible evaluation. the report is full of excellent such as the following. judge gorsuch enjoys the next limitation for integrity and is a person of outstanding character. i've known and interacted professionally with judge gorsuch since the tenth circuit court of appeals. my experience as a judge i cannot identify a person more qualified in every sense of the word to serve as an associate justice of the united states supreme court. judge gorsuch a belief strongly and independence of the judicial branch of government and we predict he'll be a strong and respectful voice and protecting
it. the judiciary committee recently concluded a four-day review of this nomination. in addition from hearing from judge gorsuch for over 20 hours. we received verbal testimony from 30 outside witnesses. thousands of words were exchanged over the course of the hearing, all in front of the american people. what the people saw was a thoughtful, humble and brilliant mine in the service of the public. in response to question mine judge gorsuch said the following, i come here with no agenda but one. no promises but one area to be as good and faithful a judge as i know how to be. that is it, i cannot promise her greer pledge anything more than the to this congress. that statement in the hearing as a whole confirmed judge gorsuch to be a man of great integrity of the mainstream. an exemplary student of the law
his record shows he is part of unanimous decisions 97% of the time in 99% of the time in the majority. for days, never my colleagues on the other side of the aisle raise the possibility that he might have secret intentions to subvert the rule of law shred the constitution from the bench. they have parsed single words for hidden medians. imagine devious strategies soon for messages in his published writings. judge gorsuch has over ten years as a jurist with 2700 opinions to review, yet most of the debate was focused on just four or five cases. let's talk about what he testified to under oath. in the face of repeated insistence that he take a position on how some case should be ruled, should've been handled or should be handled in the
future, he kept focusing on following precedent and following the law. on his first day he gave no fewer than eight assurances that he follows the laws a judge. by my count on the second day he gave at least 36 assurances that he looks to the law for his rulings. on the third day was 29 more times. by my count at least 73 times in the hearing that he is committed to the law when he hears the case sitting as a federal judge. still, many worried he had a secret agenda to overturn long-standing precedents. just in case some are confused, he mentioned no fewer than 97 times that he follows precedent has a drug as he is bound to do. with a 160 times he reminded the senate and american public what
a proper jurist us. follow the law and the precedent. we talked about the book he cosponsored or cobra. the law of judicial precedents. 942 pages of dedication to following precedent. during oral testimony he dedicated to ruling as the law requires. reading the language of the statute that is a reasonable person would understand it, and respecting precedent. just to put these questions to rest, he assured everyone that he is without secret agenda, done. it is clear to me that those who come before judge gorsuch receive equal treatment under the law. he said when i sit on the bench and someone comes to argue before me, i treat each one of them equally. they do not come as rich or poor, big guy or little guy, they come as a person.
i put my ego aside when i put on my robe and i open my mind and it open my heart and i listen. i asked him if whether he was nominated if he was required by the president to make some commitment to the president as to how he would rule or how he would resolve some issue. the fact i expanded my question as to whether the president or anyone at the white house or in the administration has made such a demand of him. his response to me was, that he had not been asked to do so, and had he been asked he would have walked out of the room. judge gorsuch will follow the law and follow precedent as his career has shown. let me turn to a few of the issues raise.
some raise the issue of what's called dark money today saying that there are some people and organizations were so hopeful he gets nominated and confirmed that their spending money to support his nomination. that is true. what the opponents don't say is there other people and other organizations who are supposed to his nomination that their spending millions of dollars in opposition to his nomination. that is also true. as the chairman said in opening remarks, that is part of our system in america. for those who today are claiming that because some support his nomination, that he must therefore be community to their agenda simply false. judge gorsuch has shown himself to be a man of character and integrity who will follow the law and honor precedent. let me clear up the brown versus board of education attacks. there's been attacks at the hearing and today saying that he
won't say whether he supports the ruling and understands the issues in brown versus board of education. let me read his exact testimony to this committee and his hearing. on day two, he stated, brown versus board of education corrected an erroneous decision, a badly erroneous decision and vindicated a dissent by the first justice in plessy versus ferguson where he correctly identified that separate to advantage one race can never be equal. he went on to say on the same day that justice harlan got the original meaning of the equal protection clause right the first time and the court recognized that belatedly. it is one of the great stains on the supreme court history that it took us so long to get to that decision.
on the third day when the issue was raised again, as if that was a clear enough, he stated, it is the seminal decision of the united states supreme court. interpreting the 14th amendment may be one of the great moments in the supreme court history. again, he said, i've said it with a seminal question of the united states supreme court that corrected a badly erroneous decision and vindicated the original understanding in the correct original understanding of the 14th amendment. it is one of the shiny moments of the constitutional history of the united states supreme court. that is what i have said. it went on, he finally said, we are all on the same page on board versus education. notwithstanding all of the incredible support and clear evidence that judge gorsuch as qualified, there are still those of my colleagues who are
advocating for the extreme step of filibustering his dominican. many have given reasons why they will vote no. but voting no is different than filibustering. the argument is being made that all supreme court justices are submitted to a 50 plu 5060 pluse not a 50 plus one role. the opponents can attempt to definitely delay his concert but they cannot establish us as regular practice. none of the current city justices were subjected to a filibuster. none. two were confirmed with fewer than 60 votes. neither were subjected to the procedural roadblock. when president obama nominated soto moyer and kagan, republicans did not subject them to filibuster. they received a straight up or down vote.
the same when they selected ginsberg or breyer, the republicans did not seek a filibuster. even judge bork to not face a filibuster. all senators had an opportunity to vote. although throughout history there have been a few, and i made a few examples where filibusters were tried, a partisan filibuster has never succeeded in the senate. just a little bit of history. it was not even a closure process on judges until 1949. prior to that closure was nonissue. since that time there has been for cases which a filibuster sought to be sustained relating to a supreme court nomination. the first came in 1968 with the case of a fortis when he was
being nominated to be the chief justice of the court. but it's not only the first but the only case in which a filibuster was maintained. it was maintained because it was bipartisan. in that instance, justice fortis under a serious ethical cloud -based 19 democrats who voted to block nomination. almost as very us a 24 republicans who voted to block the nomination. that's a slender thread to hang to block judge gorsuch for the supreme court. even the harshest credits have never whispered misconduct from him. the other three cases where justice rehnquist 1971, when the full senate rejected the filibuster. justice rehnquist again on his
nominated as chief justice in 1986 when the full senate rejected the filibuster and justice alito in 206,172 senators rejected the effort to try to filibuster a supreme court nomination. the argument that justices nominated to the supreme court are subjected to a 60 vote rule is simply false. i understand some are disappointed by the outcome of the november election. it is quite a stretch to make the argument that the senate require 60 votes on the supreme court nomination. this argument was reviewed by the washington post which gave it three pinocchio's. calling it false talking point taken to extremes and using verbal gymnastics to obscure the truth. this claim only received three pinocchio's is an undeserved
kindness from the washington post. in judge gorsuch we have a nominee who lives the american ideals of moderate jurors. his responsibilities not to look at the powers of others but help deliver justice. those women countered him as never say or all praises of fairness. his respect for the constitution is not in question. his experience, wisdom and judgment are not in question. his capability to service not question. commentators on the left and right respect is legal mine. given his judicial philosophy and record as a judge he would be a welcome addition to the supreme court seeking cohesive decisions. his record on the tenth circuit is strong. five of six decisions have been affirmed by the supreme court. including one he wrote in four out of five which he joined.
not many judges has the experience to match judge gorsuch. fewer can have overwhelming endorsement from colleagues, peers and observers from across the political spectrum. some may try to distract that his extraordinarily qualified and suited to service associate justice. others would like to make this nomination a proxy fight about other matters. my colleagues and i will vote on his nomination, not those distractions. encourage all of us to remember that. the senate should be proud to add judge corsets to the supreme court. >> it before a call on senator blumenthal, we have three in our side and two on the democrat side want to speak about the average of everybody else, we should be getting to a vote soon
after 2:00 p.m. i thought i would tell everybody how i think it will work out so everybody can be here to cast their vote. senator blumenthal. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to join in thanking you in the ranking member for conducting the searing in a fair and enlightening way. i think my colleagues also for remark that i found very helpful. you said at the outset that there is no mystery about how the outcome would be today and perhaps, regrettably that is so. there is a mystery about the supreme court. institution that functions in complete secrecy. it is mechanistic in a
democratic government, in fact the greatest democracy in the history of the world is unaccountable, unelected, nine men and women have been in power for life in the highest court of the land to strike down actions by this body by the executive branch elected by the people. it has normally a police force. it it's power derives from credibility and trust. it is a mystery in a democracy yet it protects individual rights and liberty is no other institution can. it does so because people have faith in its integrity but it is above politics. that is why i believe strongly that approval of supreme court justices must be by more than a razor thin majority. approval should be done with a bipartisan consensus as has been the case was uniformly throughout our history. presidents have consulted with both sides of the aisle before they made nomination.
we still have a path forward. in seeking a consensus nominee. i will vote against nomination of judge neil gorsuch today. i made this decision after questioning him extensively in private and in our hearing, reviewing the record and deliberating carefully and deeply. it is one of the most important votes i will ever cast. i am still angry about the treatment of merrick garland. our republican colleagues have said that if the shoe were on the other foot, the site would have done the same. it would've been is wrong if we would've done it as it was when they did it. but my vote is not about merrick
garland. it is all about neil gorsuch. it is about the constitutional crisis that may well be looming as a potential threat to our democracy. the fbi director has revealed that his agency is investigating ties between president donald trump associates in russian meddling in our election. the independence of our judicial branch has never been more threatened or more important. the possibility of a supreme court needing to enforce a subpoena against the president of the united states is far from idle speculation. it has happened before in united states versus nixon. president trump has launched a campaign of vicious and relentless attack on the credibility of our judiciary.
his disparaging comments have attempted to shake the foundations of respect for judicial rulings. the credibility and trust that is so essential to our supreme court and all of our courts. it is a respect that is vital to holding the president himself accountable to the people in our constitution. president trump's disrespect for judiciary was demonstrated by how he selected this nominee. he promised the litmus test. a nominee who would automatically overturn roe v wade. strike to gun violence measures and be of a conservative. he outsourced the process to right-wing groups like the heritage foundation, choosing from their approved list. against this backdrop judge
gorsuch had a special obligation to be forthcoming, not to prejudge the merits of a particular case, but to share his core belief on long-standing, well-established precedents and demonstrate his commitment to the independence of our judiciary. instead, he has evaded answers at every turn. we have to assume that judge corsets has passed the trump litmus test, pro-life, pro-gun, conservative, in question after question i gave judge corsets, stood my colleagues in opportunity to distance himself from those right-wing groups. his refusal to answer those questions deepens the doubt that he is not a neutral follower of the law or an umpire who just
calls balls and strikes but instead an accolade of hard, right special-interest. in fact, as recently as late last week he doubled down on evading those questions about specific cases in the written responses that he submitted to me. i wanted to give him every benefit of the doubt and give him every opportunity to say, as a number of his predecessors had done, including justices alito and kennedy and chief justice robert, that core precedents words rightly decided and correct. we're talking not only about brown visitors board of education but griswold versus connecticut, the right of married couple to use
contraceptives in their own home. loving versus virginia, the right of couples of different races to marry. a burqa fell versus hudgins, the right of same-sex couples to marry the person they love. and other key cases involving equal treatment under the rule of law and the right of privacy which essential not only to the reproductive rights of women and men, but also rights against illegal surveillance by the government, and snooping and spying on private lives. these issues are not hot button controversies. there court cases a stanford principal, like the right to privacy and equal treatment. judge gorsuch watched all of
the. he summarize the cases, he told us how old the opinions or reminded us there supreme court opinions but provided no affirmation that he agreed with these decisions or their constitutional tenants. the justice who fails to fill these basic values i believe these decisions are correct, in my view is outside the mainstream. in a potential threat to constitutional rights that protect the lives and livelihood of millions of americans. for most americans, the chevron doctrine is virtually unknown and perhaps will be incomprehensible. it underlies a great deal of the faith and respect that is given to the work of agencies
responsible for protecting consumers and workers who exercise their right. i'm going to quote from an article of just the past few days that i asked mr. chairman be wrecked entered into it is a record that he wants to undo. >> so order. it will be put in record. >> the reality is that judge corsets embraces the judicial philosophy that would do nothing less then undermined the structure of modern government including the rules that keep our water clean, and protect workers and consumers, that kind of an approach to enforcement enforcement undermines respect for law the rule of law. the supreme court is more than marble pillars and judicial roads. is the embodiment of american
justice. it is the flesh and body men of american justice. justice that has a human face and voice. it's decisions must ensure that the rule of law must be reserved for real people in our constitution protects us from overreaching tyranny. that is why it's so important that the nominee of the supreme court be approved by more than 60 votes, not the razor thin majority that we are heading toward today. that is why i will use and support the filibuster if necessary to oppose his nomination. judge gorsuch did say that he would follow the law. as i said to him in my last round of questioning, supreme court justices are not on tom,
they resolve issues where the laws conflict with the constitutional rights are up against each other and where the court of appeals conflict. so core beliefs matter. and adherence to precedents and acknowledgment that certain decisions are correctly decided all matter. today, we still know very little about his core belief, here's what we do know. we know the man who hired him said he passes his right-wing litmus test. we know that right-wing conservative organizations have spent millions of dollars on the prospect that he will moves american large medically to the right. we know he will not answer questions that his predecessors,
like justices alito and kennedy and chief justice roberts were willing to answer. in short, he has left us with substantial doubt. that doubt leaves women wondering how long they will have autonomy over their health care decision. same-sex couples are questioning whether they might be denied the right to marry the person they love workers and consumers doubting their right and americans fearing the court will abandon equal protection under the rule of law. that doubt is why i cannot support this nomination and why i will join in the filibuster if there is one to stop it. mr. chairman, i would like to stay briefly as well my position
for deputy, i agree with my colleague set is a nominee with an impressive background in qualification. i would vote for him if he agreed to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the russian interference in our past election, the potential involvement or action involving trump associates in that meddling. in other matters related to that set of incidences. i believe special prosecutor is necessary to do the investigation and to hold accountable anyone responsible for colluding with the russians. the facts have been established that the russians sought to
affect the outcome, whether they did or not is immaterial. but through a conservative can't pay of an act of war in this country, this information sought the outcome of the election. the intelligence committee about houses may do an investigation and there may be an independent commission, as i believe there should be to make finding and recommendation into a report that will be fully transparent, they be more so than the intelligence committee. but only a special prosecutor can hold accountable criminal wrongdoers. no other body in congress or elsewhere can prosecute and bring criminal charges. that's why think of special prosecutor is necessary with
independence and a partiality to investigate vigorously and thoroughly the intelligence committee of the senate will hopefully do their job. even if they do they cannot prosecute and hold accountable criminally the wrongdoers who may have been involved in that russian interference in our election. the attorney general has recused himself. the deputy who is a nominee has the power now and responsibility to do it. i have asked him for commitment that he will do it, so far he is not given that commitment and therefore i will vote against him today and i will work against him things he declines to give those documents. >> senator cruz,.
>> thank you mr. chairman. let me commend the matter in which you have conducted this earring with fairness and an opportunity for both sides test questions and express views and address all the issues raised by supreme court nomination. it speaks well that even in this highly contentious highly partisan time that our colleagues on the democratic side have consistently praised your leadership and i joined in that praise. >> thank you much of the criticism that the democratic sent others have raised about judge gorsuch as focused on a handful of cases and litigants were sympathetic. focusing on which litigant prevail. i want to take a moment to discuss the relationship a process of results. conservatives and liberals have
a different view of the process by which courts should arrive at their decision. conservatives understand it is the role of the judge especially of a supreme court justice simply to follow the law, to apply the constitution to apply statutes and signed by law to the president. liberals on the other hand by large view the process of achieving the result they want. the process of adjudicating the case as a political process. there is a consequence of those two processes. i will say there is an issue at stake here about which principle prevails and it's the -- issue. in many cases you have a conflict between governments and individual liberty for a liberal
judge who's engaged in a results-oriented judgment the reality of that choice is almost always sided with government. it is a supportive government power at the expense of individual liberty. on the other hand, for those who would follow the law and follow the constitution in many institutions individual liberty will and should prevail over government. the reason is simple, they have a bias towards liberty. if you are following the constitution and the bill of rights you are following a document that was created to protect individual liberty. on free speech those on the left
you want liberals on the court view free speech often is an inconvenience and given a choice between government power an individual's right to speak in a political context will consistently side with government power to muzzle the free speech of individual citizens. that is inconsistent with members of the constitution. likewise the right to keep and bear arms. if you have a liberal results-oriented judge who believes in restricting guns, believes in restricting individual liberty and keep and bear arms, and that outcome will be set in with government and the power to take away your right to defend yourself, family and home. if you're following the bill of rights the constitution has a bias towards individual liberty, the second amendment explicitly protects individual liberty to keep in parents to protect your
family, your life and loved ones. like ic likewise when it comes o religious liberty, if a judge is the liberal results-oriented judge than religious liberty is seen as an inconvenience. a minor impediment standing in the way of unfettered government authority. on the other hand, if you have a judge committed to following the constitution and the bill of rights, the first amendment's protection of religious liberty is fundamental and must be protected. it is interesting some of my democratic friends have asked judge gorsuch if he would be willing to stand up to president trump. i will tell you, and a constitutionalist who is following the law is, by
definition willing to stand up to the presidents of either party including the president who appointed him if that president or administration exceeds constitutional authority. in my view, and i think of you of the senators on the side of the aisle, we are not confirming a political player. were not confirming someone who'll simply vote with our team on a given issue. if this president or the next are the next contravenes the constitution and the bill of rights and contravenes the individual rights of citizens than i have every hope and expectation that judge gorsuch another constitutionalist would, without hesitation side with the law over government power. . .
the choice that the ballot box. why is it friends on democratic side are so unified in their opposition? in fact, to the point of promising the unprecedented public bluster of the supreme court justice? it is not the merits for another is incredible argument that can be given that he is qualified and to this aromas of pre-war. connote justice white was appointed to the court by kennedy as a distinguished court of appeals judge of the merits that he is indisputably qualified this is the reason we have seen in many of liberals of some
his praises. even the former acting solicitor general from obama. and his former ethics teacher in the eight unanimously said we he has the intellectual negative temperament himalayan open-minded this to be an excellent addition to the united states supreme court. president obama is former ethics czar.
a former law partner says a progressive democrat american constitution society left-wing equivalent of the federalist society what did he have to say? with the senate should confirm him because there is no principled reason to vote new. live is not a conservative but a well-known liberal or for that matter his home town newspaper the denver post which i might note endorsed hillary clinton in the presidential election it is not conservative but it's and we hope the senate manages to place him on the high court to ensure order he is a brilliant legal mind and a talented writer who deserves praise for his ability to apply the law fairly and consistently. we appreciate hence the desire to starkly interpret the constitution based on the intent of the nation's founders even with the
rulings might contradict his personal beliefs. on the merits it would be easy he would be confirmed with 100 mitt often speculate because a decade ago the senate confirmed him by voice vote not one single democrat not senator feinstein senator obama or senator clinton or senator biden so what has changed in a decade? uh decade of exemplary service that makes the nomination even stronger it's the politics is interesting number of senators have talked about dark money or organizations expressing free-speech to
share their views with there is the irony of the tax applied democratic colleagues because of dark money from corporations that we see in the undemocratic filibuster. the politics are in the democratic party there outside groups organized formally incorporated spending vast sums of money to organize to put political pressure on democrats this is shielding these unprecedented results a democratic senator told me in a moment of candor you have got to understand all of us of the democratic side are afraid to be primary from the left we are afraid
of doing anything other than opposing trump on everything. it is those left-wing billionaires' an activist on the ground and told the democrats hostage and maybe the reality of where we argonaut a sound in principle reason to reject the supreme court justice who was unquestionably qualified and his nomination enjoyed the american people so this week the senate will confirm judge gorsuch as an
so low toots' talk about how the democratic senators that our afraid to be primary? please. that barely has any response . who donald trump as nominated a parade of extreme and unqualified people to his government positions will have an education secretary that doesn't even believe in public education a treasury secretary profited from the mortgage crisis and the epa who seems to not believe an environmental protection i could go on. when he nominated gorsuch you could hear the audible gasp he did not nominate a
personality or member of the family zero lawyer with 10 years of experience publishing and not evaluate him on the basis of the lobar that president trump has established paper credentials are not enough to highest court of the land and makes decisions to impact all of our lives shifty be nominated if he will become a court long after some of us are gone we should not give him a pass just because he has the credentials and is it the product of a yearlong campaign to transform the supreme court in their image
he wanted someone who would overturn roe v wade over the rights of these employees to hold the view of the second amendment with this direction and the heritage foundation prepared a list of 21 judges period meet those requirements and for the first time ever the president probably turned over his constitutional duty of two conservative right wing groups over the mass -- last month and a half spending $10 million to support the nomination of
how they will rule on those tough cases why i have been so persistent on this side of the aisle to get us sense of the judicial philosophy this is a critically important question to ask before we give him a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. this is like a basket of any nominee the one i asked him serious questions to understand his judicial philosophy he told us his views and writings of the past have no relevance to what he would have done as a justice for good during the hearing by a colleague said
credentials are enough but the record m philosophy are irrelevant orleans even n inappropriate. but this argument just like the well funded campaign of scares the stakes and the real impact of the very idea of what it means to be a justice of the supreme court we should see there is a clear understanding without justice gorsuch would see what comes before the supreme court judges and negative does judicial philosophy matter? of course, of the lies he would not have so many decisions we know that
justice scalia and justice ginsberg would reach dramatically different results like shelby county or citizens united or hobby lobby or rolled freeway. it can make go world of difference the people of color elegy bt q community these are the people to be impacted that justice gorsuch would make and how that will impact them how
that is missing of his view of the law even though he told me the purpose of article three was to protect minority rights so to leave thousands of special needs children without progress the supreme greenness lee rejected his narrow standard two weeks ago that was too much with his narrow approach to the law was a terrible choice between freezing to death 45 aired and his decision of hobby lobby fountain expansive right where corporations
that employ thousands of people and as they were a family-owned business as they employ over 20,000 people? it made no assessment of the terrible impact for the thousands of working women a careful reading and on the side of the individuals to support corporate interest over individual rights and then such as in duh tracker case to tell congress but
was never giving a hearing will load a vote many did not even extend the courtesy of meeting with judge garland. in an unprecedented in arrogant act they did not deserve a hearing that we've reported several has suggested during the campaign they would be comfortable leaving the seat open for more decisions so with that sense of urgency with the improper abuse if
we don't rally to confirm him. i have serious concerns of that leadership today denomination through more quickly than any other recent supreme court nominee. to say he would do this one way or another he will be confirmed the same person who said we will have no hearing on judge garland. and then dating back to 1975 this said it takes to debate the supreme court nomination. so with the stakes of a lifetime appointment life
force the issue? why not? to allow for serious debate around uh nomination that the judge core said supporters want him of the court to hear particular case in the case that led teardown longstanding constitutional separation of church and state. with the approach to the of law and the philosophy don't matter the supporters want him on and the court with
major ramifications and they clearly have a very good idea how this nominee would rule. and the american people to have the time for a serious debate on the nomination to undermine the constitutional role the supreme court vacancy is not just another position to fill the vacancy is a solemn obligation to future generations will looking at the record of listening carefully to four days of hearings if he is the justice for all of us.
id not believe judge gorsuch will be justice for all of us. i will laws supporting nomination. >> we have to speakers left the we will vote. >> i will be brief save my day comments for the floor floor, those that wearing a blue tie is a good sign i will not repeat what has been said by everybody else but i really appreciate senator gramm's leadership inconsistency on this issue despite the fact their statements out there as justice kagan was a progressive who is clearly a legal progressive
then-president obama himself said anyone judges say quality of empathy i think we saw the exact opposite for empathy there is no place for of the of the bench. and some of the cases that we're having concerns that they were members who pass laws that not clear or incomplete not unlike the judge to rule. then ask yourself one of the primary sponsors senator schumer had day he and -- had a hand last week is
missing the point it is the accurate policies that will still cause parents and children of autism the ability to have the educational choice. we still have to do urge job here. i what it was bottom by so many members. with the extreme and the unqualified. so the number of times it is then unanimously don't have to go through that the filing said jed john this circuit and at usc in that argument.
when it was 99 or 97%. is curious if we see one in the future. so consistent with my practice and will conclude my remarks to sale of four word to confirming judge course it. he deserves to be on the bench berger regret that might have to be done under the circumstances we are doing for the other judges we have for other vacancies in this administration will not come from the pool that judge gorsuch did as a result of forcing a filibuster, that will not succeed. island for to the confirmation of frozen stein and williams.
sometimes unreasonable people disagree. or reasonable people but we all have personal beliefs and this is a diverse union endeavor betty and appreciates the and understands that. is not as important in the first place. so our friends to happen to be democrats to prevent us from taking a a vote. there has never bend a
supreme court nominee with a republican president that has been filibustered to you death in the history of the united states senate but if those nominations are different they should remain different and referenda senator dorgan talking about this process like the movie "casablanca" or if you allow that partisanship legislative side to bleed over to the supreme court it
to be on the tenth circuit court of appeals and when he becomes to be an associate justice of the united states supreme court. period is. and its says a judge saw it shall not make public comment on impending on any court. of the american bar association of judicial conduct because they judge shall not likely come before the court to make promises or commitments with the impartial performance of the judy's of the judicial office. criticize him for what he can do to violate.
mr. chairman we are entitled to our opinion i of that around a law of smart people but this man is a thoroughbred and though eagle rock star. and i will vote for him to the siesta valley. thank you mr. chairman. >> now we are ready to vote on the nomination of neil gorsuch the associate justice of the supreme court and ask the clerk to call the roll.
leadership and that would like them to call on senator feinstein. >> and to put the statement on the record. >> anybody else want to speak greg. >> also put a statement of the record while i am voting no today to put them on the record but i want to see if i can get some answers i could not get the mets a hearing because i have some follow-up questions. >> nobody else's requesting time. of gas the clerk to call the roll.