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tv   Senate Debate on Supreme Court Nominee Senators Cornyn Through Wyden  CSPAN  April 6, 2017 11:57pm-1:05am EDT

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confirmation of judge gorsuch but republicans changed the procedural rules to allow a majority vote to limit the debate. we will start with remarks from mr. mcco that >> democratic colleagues have done something today that is unprecedented in the history of the unfortunately, it's brought us to this point. we need to restore the norms and traditions of the senate and get past this bipartisan filibuster. therefore, i raise a point of a order that the vote on cloture set on november 21, 2013 is the majority vote on all nominations.ns to >> november 21, 2013 did not apply to the nominations to theo supreme court. those nominations are considered under the plain language rule 22, the point of order is not sustained. >> i appeal the ruling of the chair.
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the majority whip. >> if we may have order. >> the senate will be in order. the majority whip. >> madam president, the senate is just restored itself to an almost unbroken tradition of never filibustering judges. we've actually restored the status quo before the administration of president george w. bush. it was during that administration went to some of our friends across the aisle along with some of their liberad professor allies dreamed up a way of blocking president george w. bush judicial nominees and that was by suggesting that 60 votes was the threshold for confirming judges rather than the constitutional requirement
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of a majority vote. it's been a long journey back to the normal functioning of the united states senate, and it's amazing that it's taken a nominee like judge gorsuch to bring us back to where we were around 2001. we've been debating and discussing this nominee for a long time now, and the opponents have tried time and time again to raise objections to this the outstanding nominee, a nomination that no one in the senate oppose ten years ago when he was confirmed to the position of the tenth circuit court of appeals. they claimed he wasn't mainstream enough. they said this was a seat that should have gone to garland. they even accused him of no
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all of these arguments have no merit whatsoever and represent desperate attempts to try to block this outstanding nominee. the claims are simply useless and that much became clear as folks from across the political spectrum and newspapers from across the country urged our democratic colleagues to drop their pointless filibuster and allow an up or down vote.orsuch but also what came to light is the type of man he is, a man of integrity and strong independence in other words exactly the kind of person you would want to serve on the united states supreme court.t they even claimed he went out of his way to side with the big guy against the little guy ignoring the fact during his years on the tenth circuit court of appealsan where the judges sit on these panels that he was part of the majority decision 99% of the
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time. .. court of appeals, hardly a radical. it actually is a remarkable record of a consensus builder, someone who uses his great intellect, his education, his training to build consensus on a multijudge court, exactly the kinds of skills that are going to be so important for him to use on the supreme court of the united states. so as i said, ultimately today was a culmination of years of obstruction by our democratic colleagues when it came to judicial nominees. when i came to the senate in 2003, the democrat strategy was well under way to obstruct lower court judicial nominees from the george w. bush administration. and later in 2013 when there was a democrat in the white house and it suited them to do so, they decided to do away with the same tool they used and went
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nuclear, lowering the threshold from 60 to 51 majority vote for circuit court nominees and district court nominees. it took a gang of 14, seven democrats and seven republicans to try to work through the differences back around 2006 time frame which resulted in half of president george w. bush's nominees to the circuit bush's nominees to the circuit when i came to the senate in 2003, the democrat strategy was underway that struck. >> getting confirmed in half by night getting confirmed. unde the standard was adopted by the gang of 14 that only underan extraordinary circumstances with the filibuster be used that expired in 2013 the colleagues would like to say that back then it was necessary to restore a
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majority vote he did that last sunday they were holding back including the very important d.c. circuit court but what the democratic leader claimed in terms of necessity of going nuclear back then. prior to 2013 the senate that can for more than 200 judicial nominees and rejected just two. for the 200 confirmed, to reject it. that is a 99% confirmation ratew for president obama. so let's make it clear just how this began. it started with democratic obstruction under a republican administration in 2001. this been continuing under new.r republican administration in
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2017. we really have come full circle to restore the status quo before 2001 when the democratic front started down this path. president trump has, by all accounts selected a judge with impeccable qualifications of the highest integrity.rg not one of our democratic colleagues has been a bird to offer convincing arguments against that's why several retri colleagues have crossed the aisle to support his nomination. i think them for that. e i think marwood join if they didn't fear retribution from the radical elements of their political today, republicans in the chamber following through with what we said we would do. would we said we would let the american people decide who woulo select the next supreme court nominee and we would vote to confirm that nominee.el american people, on november 8, selected president trump. con president trump nominated judge
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neil gorsuch. tomorrow we will confirm that i nominee and deliver on that promise. senato >> thank you. mr. president, over the next several hours will have the final opportunity to debate the confirmation of supreme court justice nominee neil gorsuch. this is the likely process as we have heard from senators on both sides of the aisle looking atpe the opposition our support of the nomination of judge courses. i've had opportunities over the past weeks and months to visit i have known from colorado. a the opportunity to listen to my colleagues adjust the chamber senate confirmation hearings the day after day the confirmation
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hearing proceeded. and of course we have gotten to know judge gorsuch over the past several years we are glad that we have someone from colorado cs nominated on the highest court. he would be the second from colorado to serve on the supreme court. the other was justice byron white. he also led the nfl in rushing one year.s, w while judge gorsuch will never live up to that part of the supreme court legacy, we know that judge gorsuch as an avid ln outdoorsman and fly fisherman. someone who understands public lands, having that expertise ant experience on our highest court will serve the country well. it's important to understand his roots represent the roots that built the west. he's a fourth-generation colorado in. someone that hails from state that's independent and takese great pride, the love of the
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outdoors and recreation duties, understanding agriculture energy, the state that has it all. from these implants to the western slope. neil gorsuch understands that. he served on the tenth circuit court. that is houston dens denver isdg 20% of the land mass of our state. his family as i mentioned shows the grit and determination of those that built the west.p his grandfather, someone who worked in union station, someone who grew up driving trolleys at the time denver was a trolley time. his other grandfather was a physician, both of whom were experts in their field of medicine, one grandfather helped found a law firm. pre very prestigious firm in denver. but judge gorsuch experiences high qualifications of academics
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that he brings to the court. pri heaven just received degrees from columbia, oxford, the most important express been the university of colorado where think you spent some time teaching at a professor at the colorado school of law. it is helped him build who he is today. that is a very mainstream k church, illegal mine, one of the brightest jewish the country has to offer. if either judge providing clerks to the supreme court and who has the respect of the colorado legal community. i've come to the floor multiple times and i have talked about his qualifications. i've talked about the fact that the people who know him best, not the people in washington, d.c. w but the people who practice in
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his courting denver colorado. here's what those individuals have said.ter, they believe that judge gorsuch deserves an up or down vote. the former democratic governor of colorado leaves he deserves an up and down vote and now we will have we have invoked to the closure will have a final debate on friday night. and a final vote on whether not he should be confirmed. people like steve farber, have talked about the need to confirm judge gorsuch. t the debate winter now is not whether he will have an upper down vote, he will have an up or down vote but it's whether we should confirm him. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote in favor of judge gorsuch is confirmation. just some of the arguments we have heard over the past several weeks on the floor listening to the arguments on the floor is
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quite interesting that some of the arguments we hear are at odds with each other presiding over the senate yesterday i heard people talk about how thea don't think people built neil gorsuch jewel stand up to the president or express the independence of the commands of somebody who stands up to the president of the united states. they often cite some of the, or tweets the president has me and failed to mention the fact that on the very time that one of the tweets was mentioned questioning the judiciary, that judge gorsuch in a meeting with the democratic colic actually said objections. he objected to the statements the president had made. expressing his independence and talking about how it was demoralizing what he had her.e. showing very much independence. the second argument you often
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hear from those who decided to show enough deference to thee president and then talk about opposes mainstream jurists is their afraid he will not show enough deference to the presidentab the chevron doctrine and whether and then there he is going to be willing to overturn the chevron doctrine. i find the two arguments a interesting. on one hand you have an argument saint were afraid he's not going to stand up to the president of the united states. admin and then you have an argument that says you're afraid he's going to stand up to the president of the united states because that's what it does. it gives deference to the regulatory body. here's another irony.
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>> the administrator of the epa, the first woman to serve as epa administrator who is this subject of the chevron doctrinee not only is he willing to stand up to the president but he isot willing to overturn a case that his own mother was a subject. i've also heard colleagues that he is not a mainstream jurists. this argument can be dealt with in a couple of ways. there's some good statistics to refute these arguments. 97% is the number of times in ws the number of opinions he was a part of, 97% represents the time that was unanimous decision. judge gorsuch did not serve just with conservative judges, he did
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not serve with only republican nominees, judge gorsuch served with republican and democrat nominees. appointments approved by the senate. in 97% of the cases, judge personage rule, decided in unanimous decisions. the other statistic that is more revealing about whether he is a mainstream judge is 99% he rolled in the majority of the court made decisions and opinions with the majority of the court. her, yesterday who said judge course was never intended to be a mainstream nominee. if he was never intended to be a mainstream nominee do you thinkd we would see a judge before's that has support from the 2008 democratic national convention chairman. if he was never intended to be a mainstream nominee to think would have decisions by thetic
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democratic governor of colorado to demand or ask for an up or down vote? if he was never intended to be a mainstream nominee do you thinkk the president would have nominated someone who agreed 99% of the time with his colleagues on the bench? colleagues who came from appointments given by republicans president and democrat presidents? the arguments over whether or not judge gorsuch as going to be with the little guy or spends te too much time defending the bigger, let me go back to the people who know judge gorsuch the best. cou who practice in front of his on court.e here's a statement from a state democrat attorney in the denverl post statement he issued a decision that most certainly
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focus on the little guy. yet, this right from the opposition in 2700 cases is, i this is a person who has never we defended a little guy. h this is someone who practiced in front of him and his court, who absolutely believes he focused on the little guy. so, we have a judge who agrees wi with the majority of the court the most of the time, 97% of the time it is a unanimous decision. lawyers practicing in front of him believed he represents thelt little guy.. we've heard from leading leading democrat voices in colorado whot support him. the highest qualification rankings and ready.lieve then what are we looking for the in a justice? maybe the argument should be about what were looking for in terms of ideology. ideolog we've seen his philosophy andoly ideology and what he's testifiee before the judiciary and what he
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stated past writings. he's going to follow the law anm take a decision where the law a leads and that someone who'solis going to take an opinion or decision where personal beliefs are politics taken. that's the kind of justice we want. somebody who's not going to ta decide policy preference from go the bench of the supreme court, not someone who will take a look at a public opinion poll or focus group and make a decision, but someone who ruled by thealk law. law a of her colleagues come to the floor and talk about theirust experiences with their given decisions to read, they are given just the facts of the case and they said, how would you have decided this case. then they show the actual ruling in the case.e some people believe that is nota the way we would've decided
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because we do not feel that was a good outcome, we don't feel that was the right policy. law it's not the job of a justice to put their thumb on the scale of policy. it is the job of the justice to be a guardian of the constitution, to defend the constitution, to follow the law and to decide cases based on the law. [inaudible] feelings, preference, politics, polls, we have a justice who has said, we have a judge nominated for justice who is said that a judga who believes or agrees with every opinion they have issued is probably a bad judge. he is paraphrasing other judges throughout our history. decide it's because he knows that is c not his job to issue opinions or decisions or decide a case baseo on being a republican orpresidet
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democrat, it's not his job to decide a case based on whether he is nominated by president trump, president obama or president bush. it's his job to look at the law and leave policy decisions to the legislative branch. that is what we have to do. that is what judge gorsuch has said he will do. th so, in these arguments they do not hold water. heat is not looking out for the interest of our citizens, we kno democrats who practice before him in court has said as much. the argument that he won't stano up to the trump administration, we know he will stand up because he said in front of her democratic colleagues. he said he rejected attacks on the court.ce, we also know that when it comes to the chevron doctrine, which seems to be sacred grounds now, there's an ironic argumentistrat
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taking place, because you want someone who will stand up to the administration but you're concerned he's interested or concerns that we've taken the chevron deference to far.ou which is it? do you want to judge who will stand up for the administration or judge will not stand up to the administration? it sounds like the argument's are trying to have it both waysg at the bottom line, we know that judge gorsuch to be a person who is eminently qualified, a mainstream jurists, who has the respect and admiration of judges around the country, who has the admiration and respect of fellow jurists and legal professionals throughout colorado, and we know he will make this country proud and he will certainly make colorado proud as he receives his confirmation to the nation's highest court. i hope as we spend these hoursia
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debating we can realize of the senate should operate in a bipartisan fashion, that we should confirm judges that are clearly mainstream. i yield the floor.olorado. >> the senator from colorado. >> i have several requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate that have the approval of majority minority leader. >> without objection, duly noted. >> mr. president. >> the senator from delaware. >> today is a day when many senators are speaking about judge gorsuch on the supreme hiurt. as i think many know it in the last week in the judiciary committee hearings and another settings i have announced i will vote against judge gorsuch on the final vote tomorrow. i believe i have made my reasons for my opposition clear. i have thoroughly reviewed and considered his record within
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american jurists jurisprudence that i have no second thoughts about my decision. as i look around about what is happening on the senate floor i am sick with regret. so i rise now to speak in defense of the senate. the senate has been held by mans including our nominee to the supreme court, judge gorsuch as the world's greatest deliberative body. yet today, i think one more blow has been struck at the title and reality. the late senator robert burke who served in the chamber for 5f years, would famously in my new senators that in one piece the senate has been the sheer refuge and protector of the rights ofrs the states and of the political minority. of course although senator burke was longest serving senator from
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delaware i grew up in theat tradition of senator joe biden, 36 year veteran of this body. he left his ranks only to descend to the vice presidency and spend a more years as his presiding officer. since i had the honor of assuming his former seed i've wo committed to working across the aisle, through republican and republican administrations, whoever's willing to get to work for the american people. i know my colleague sharon this commitment to serve our constituents in country. as i look around at just what happened on this floor, with too little discussion of its lasting consequences to suitable consider emotion i must ask the question, where are we headed. you can't see it, but around this chamber are white marble statues of former presiding
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officers of former vice presidents of the united states. they are in the halls outsided this chamber. they are in the upper level of the chamber in the galleries and all the former vice presidents memorialized in these white marble bus. former vice president, the grandfather of the illinois governor who ran for president in the middle of the 20the century, we he delivered his farewell address to the senate on his last day in office as the presiding officer of the senate in 1897. he said, it must not be forgotten that the rules governing this body is founded deep within human experience. they are the result of centuries of tireless efforts to conserve, render stable and secure the rights and liberties which have been achieved through conflict.e by its rules the senate wisely fixes the limits to its own power.
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of those who claim against the senate and its motor procedure it may be said they know not what they do. g in this chamber alone, are preserved without restraint to essentials of wise legislation and good government, the right of amendment and good debate. it was exactly that right, those rules, those assaulted today bue under assault for long time in recent days i have reached out to my republican and democratic colleagues trying to see if there some way we could reach a reliable consensus agreement. o to safeguard these institutional values and avoid the events of today and tomorrow. i tell my colleague i was not ready ten debate on judge gorsuch as nomination until we can move forward on a bipartisan basis. when considering future supreme court nominations. forwa
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i think for us to get to any constructive conversation about moving the senate forwarded requires owning the role that all of us, each of us could plai either a few years or decades and bringing us to this time to regret my democratic colleagues for changing the rules of lower court nominations and confirmations in 2013. i of course i could give an entire speech on the obstruction that led us to that point. i could document the republican and democratic deeds and misdeeds of the last congress and of those before that. as my more seasoned and season colleague demonstrated in thenow judiciary committee those who have served here longest know best.f the record of grievance of congresses and decades past. i anticipate that many of my
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colleagues will come to regret the decisions and actions taken today and tomorrow and this congress and congresses ahead and instead of focusing on a shared regret i want to work together not to continue to tear down the traditions and rules but to find ways i were to try to find a solution i wanted to make sure our supreme court nominee would be part of the consultation a consensus that was safeguarded for years by the potential of the 60 vote margin. i wanted certainty for the voice of the minority would still beci heard in the next vacancies arrived. among many, this effort to forge consensus was met with hopelessness and hostility.
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back home thousands of consist constituents urged to vote against gorsuch in the filibuster. some urge to stop talking about any deal.iding in fact back, delaware some groups ran ads against me and a rumor of a hint that there might be conversation about avoiding this outcome. there are senators on both sides who told me that an agreement was impossible. they said any agreement is based on trust that we simply do not trust each other. given the events of the last years and disrespectedor mistreatment of merrick garlanda i can understand how there is a raw wound right now in this chamber. for each side feels the other has mistreated a good, honorable and capable nominee for the supreme court.
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let me say my last point. senators on both sides tell me we could not find a compromise t because we do not trust each other anymore. if we cannot trust each other anymore, then are there any bigs problems facing our country which we can address and solve? this morning i gave an address about the threat that russia poses to our democracy, our allies, our national security, and the endurance of our republic. if that threat is not something that does serves bipartisan effort, i don't know what is. there are many threats to our future could lay out today. let me emphasize, in the absence of trust this body cannot playio it's an tended constitutional role. without trust we will not rebuild what is necessary to o sustain this body.
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everyone likes to point the finger at the other side is the source of this distress. the reality is there is abundant blame to go around. folks like to remember the good old days when justice kalil was confirmed 98 - 0.enators, when justice ginsburg was confirmed 98 - 3. if you look at our five most recent nominees you can see ad clear trend. nine senators, all republicansos voted against justice twenty-two against roberts.en twenty-two senators mostly democrats voted against the justices alito. more than 30 republican senators opposed others. only nine republican senators -- we have been on this project tree for some time. of course merrick garland is denied the hearing and we have
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judge gorsuch, the first to be the object of a partisan filibuster on this floor. we did knock it here overnight we become increasingly polarized, how can we work together to repair this lack of trust so we can face the real challenges that face our nationm my own attempts of recent days, although i was blessed to be joined by senators of goodwill in good faith and great skill, ultimately were not successful. i wish we had engaged sooner and more forcefully, i wish i would've been how clear to seek a result. my this doesn't mean i'm disappointed i try. it also doesn't mean i'm going to stop. i'm not going to stop trying to fix the damage that has been done, trying to find a better pathway forward. wha i ask my colleagues, if you know
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what you have done today, then what will we do tomorrow. how can we the further deepening corrosion. what past mistakes can each of us on up to. what steps can we take to mend the old wounds in my can we do to move forward together? we talk about the dysfunction of this body as if it we bear no accountability. at the end of the day here we are, 100 men and women sent to represent 50 states of this republic and 325 million people. in many ways we have all of them down today. i can tell you what i'm going to do tomorrow. commits working with anyone who wants to join me to try toti strengthen and save the rules and traditions of the spotty and its effectiveness as a central
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part of the constitutional order for which so many have fought. y it is what all of our predecessors would have wanted. thank you. i yield the floor.rief. >> the senator from georgia. >> i want to be brief and i want to make sure i don't taked advantage of the personal privilege i haven't seen a state but i'm going to anyway.injury a i want senator koontz to pause for just a second. i want to thank every member of the senate the staff of the senate for the comments have extended to me the last for you monster them injury and recovery. my the way back home because of the support of the united states senate. i'm grateful for that and the staff who have allowed it to take place.
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now standing what your politics apprenticeship is, this is a great institution and a great body because it's made up of great people. to that end, my friend senator can spread delaware maine excellent speech which i want to adopt is my speech since i don't have the strength to talk as late as i would like to. we need to open our minds ands hearts in the days ahead to make sure we know what direction were going on as members of the united states senate. regardless of our party and notwithstanding our partisanship. you'llse gorsuch from everything i've seen, i've seen more than a because i've been watching it on tv, his record,'s testimony and the way he presented himself and how they allow the hearing to go forth, i know we had a good man is a nominee for the supreme court justice of the united states. where the issues and the divide enclosure and simple majority, on the rule change in 2013 what happened in the past we are
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slowly but surely moving to be a body that's another house of representatives, not the united states senate. the majority rule is a great philosophy, majority winning is always a great philosophy. ice have a teacher that of the four goals a majority, the three equals zero but you have to listen to the other three because they might be right. those a great lesson. but the for does equal a majority but three dozen equal zero because the rest still count. as we move forward in the days ahead and judge other issues partisan issues, or issues over confirmation of judges or secretaries or whatever, let's be thoughtful not as a criticism of the hospital complement our founding we won't become second house and a majority rule mabrouk and eventually slavery were passage find yourself something and a
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hole that you created instead of building dreams.t i commend the leadership on both parties i commit them for being part of this debate and part of that's what america is about. but somewhere down the line there's can be something that will happen that will cause a resurrection of the debate we had today and another wrote across in future direction. the more we move away from a senate that is a deliberativeefe body and a dignified body and one that make sure knows where it's going before miss work, will be better off. this w if we move towards about it that's her rubberstamp of the house, will never be the united states of america our founding fathers intended us to be. twelve our members to complement them. justice gorsuch i'm proud to d have served, but to all of us
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our job is not finished. i look forward to being here and being a part of it. you'll back my time. thank you. >> mr. president.or >> the senator from rhodei want island. >> i just wanted to say how massive is to see the senatorea from georgia back here with us. it means a lot to all of us ton. have senator isaacson back with us in the senate. >> i don't want to turn this into a bouquet, tossing contests but i think it is very clear that senators on both sides of the a very pleased to see her friends from georgia back today. we are wishing him good health and godspeed johnny, we look for to a full and complete recovery. so glad to have you here.eased i plead pleased that senator koontz is on the floor. it would be fair to say that
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members of the both sides of the eye would have washout senator kearns has conducted himself throughout this extraordinarily contentious debate would say that senator koontz makes all of us very proud. it is no secret he has tried repeatedly to bring both sides together and he and i have talked about this. i think there'll be opportunities for finding common ground on important legislation, breaking out of this gridlock that we all understand is not what the senate is about an toward our mainstream politics. when we get there it will be because of thoughtful comments from my friend from delaware. the senate is soon going to act on one of its most sacred and important constitutional duties,
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the advice and consent on the nomination of the next justice of the supreme court. o the long tales of these debates stretch the generations and shape our government deep into the future. the choice the senate makes in this extraordinary debate will have a profound impact from thes broadest governing statute down to them a specific there are several issues particularly relevant to this nominee that have gotten short trips. i'm talking about secret law, wiretapping, and i intend to discuss these issues shortly. i would like to begin by stating that whether one supports orav
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opposes judge gorsuch from our job would have been easier had the judge been more forthcoming in his testimony before the judiciary committee. he chose however not to do so. h so, what the senate has to go bo instead, is to judge his lingering record of adhering to a rigid and far right philosophy that is packaged in the branding of so-called original is in. the originalists says that our rights as a people are contained within and linked to our founding documents. but that viewpoint is incorrect. be in practice, original is and becomes a cover for protecting the fortunate over the poor.
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corporations over individuals, - and the powerful over virtually every other american. it is a political agenda that pi masquerades as philosophy, and agenda whose sole intent isnd reserving power for those in power and limiting the recognition of their right reserved to the people. far from endorsing such a creed, our constitution is actually a documents of constraint. constraint that binds the government, not the people. the full scope of our rights as a people as justice harlan wrote cannot be found in are limited by the precise terms of the guarantees elsewhere provided in
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the constitution. the exact concept is written in the bill of rights. right the ninth amendment says the constitution of certain rights others or disparage others retained by said james madison, said they were's to live in a democracy with outspoken about the dangers of future readers are interpretersd thinking the fundamental rights contemplated by the framers werg limited to the constitution or cons our founding document and framers made clear that rights were not enumerated by the constitution, they were retained by the people. individual liberties from personal privacy, a woman's right to vote, the choice of
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contraception and abortion, e interracial marriage, same-sex marriage, equal protection of the law. these liberties and let memany m emphasize many, many more have always existed since the constitution and bill of rights were silent on what americanse consider fundamental to a free people. that silence left the door open for the courts as we shed the prejudices of a dark rage to recognize that your meaning of the word, all men are created equal and inalienable rights. the progress has been painfully slow. the constitution like any document composed by politicians is fraught with original sin. for example the three fifths
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compromise with the shameful advice of political accommodation. through stretches of our history political agendas have left individual rights unrecognized or unprotected by the courts.her they rolled in favor of the powerful and against the disadvantaged and the disenfranchised. often with the justification that the rulings adhere to the tests of the constitution. no word to the constitution expressly deny women the right to vote. but the supreme court ruled virginia minor in 1875. the federal government was not expressly granted a right to return residents of japanese descent with the supreme courthh allowed. there is no constitutional basis in which to deny people of different ethnicities the right to marry. on those issues and more our
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judges were wrong. supreme court justices were wrong. in the service of the economic, political and religious powers f that be, the court has defended slaveholders, denied the franchise, permitted discrimination in routinely elevated the power of the state over individual liberty. any defense of those is a hearing of the text of the constitution it's just plain wrong. let's look more closely at did no the supreme court found that women did not have the right to vote because the right was noted expressly stated anywhere in the constitution. in a unanimous decision thee court took the absurd position that i document predicated on
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voting organized on voting for d any amendment still did not protect the right to vote forl all citizens.fense of such is the intellectual bankruptcy of a long legal tradition sustained by its defense of the status quo. the 19th amendment was the response to abridgment by fundamental right of political parties in their court. it did not create a new right. it was a long, overdue maynal necessary byetta ritualistf court. w if there is a national evolution that extends its rights and liberties, it is because with time, our wonderful country tends to correct its wrongs.o it did so with the civil war and the amendments that followed.ufg
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it did so with women's suffrage in the brown decision, and i did so more recently with the old burge-mydecision. recognition, use that word intentionally. it is recognition because there are no new rights per se.ited they are inalienable. those rights are not limited to those spelled out in the constitution.ut tha the church would respect individual rights, but that simply is not the viewpoint taken by many so-called originalists on the far right today. there right-wing ritualism looked a lot more like the judicial philosophy that trampled on the rights of
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americans in days past. a philosophy that throughout our history has left many americans marginalized, disenfranchise, and oppressed by the state. unfortunately, after listening very carefully to judge gorsuch reviewing his writing, including some i will mention that specifically talked about my whole state, i have no faith that judge gorsuch would be any different from this philosophy r mentioned that has left so many americans marginalized in our country. judge gorsuch not only has a long record of conservative activism, he has demonstrated ad hostility to make decisions
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about their all lives in theirin own family without interferenceo from the state. in one troubling instance he went so far as to offer a book attacking death with dignity. this is going to matter this historically been left to the states. the people in my state twice approved death with dignity measures and our law has been ie place for nearly 20 years. the supreme court upheld thatkn nearly a decade ago.e judge gorsuch record and his owi words took the will of benny from organic question. nothing in the constitution gives the federal government the power to deny suffering. the right to make basic choices
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about the end of their life. there is nothing in the constitution that gives the federal government the power to deny people in my state the right to make those emotional, difficult, wrenching decisions about end-of-life. it is a private matter between individuals and doctors.or when politicians attempt to force regulations through the back door by going after doctors of their ability to prescribe, barbecue that is in obvious come over the line federal impingement. my guess is there's probably can be folks on the far right that would try that route again. nothing judge gorsuch said in his confirmation hearing gave me any indication he respects the
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death with dignity issuer that he would rule against federal abuse of power.ottom to intrude on a private choice. the bottom line is that judge gorsuch is locked into an extreme right wing to viewpoint. on this issue and there is more. part of this mr. president, as i listen to this debate and particularly the number of comments that some of those who have a spouse the views of the that concern me so much come back, they are always talking about states rights. that would be the author that we to representative. when you listen to some of what they're saying about states rights, what they're reallyea saying is there for the state of
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the think the state is right. that is not, in my view what so, a ones that have been afforded the state out to be about. death as indicated and viewed with the respect to death with dignity does involve abuse of power and shooting of private choices. other issues concern me as well. you made it clear that manyy instances he favors corporations at the expense of work people. denied disability benefits todey people with disabilities. large companies to deny basic job protection. he's written a class action lawsuit for plaintiffs to get free rights to fast riches. no example better interest ver
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illustrates and in a case such as leaves you practically speechless, judge gorsuch sided against the truck driver who was fired for leaving his freezing cold truck when his life was in danger. i had another significant concern about judge gorsuch that came up in the context of his confirmation hearings. this is something i think a lot of americans and even those in government are trying to get their arms around. i have been on the intelligence committee since the day beforeel 9/11.o one of the things we have come to feel strongly about is the danger of what i call secret law. la i want to make sure what people know what i am talking about
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when i describe secret law. meto in the intelligence and national security sphere, operations ando methods, the tactics used by courageous men and women who are protecting us, those sources and methods have always got to be secret. they are classified.he they have to be because if they. got out we could have americans die. the people who through all of that wonderful work and possibly but so forces and methods have got to be secret. the law and our public policiese always ought to be transparence. the american people need to know about them because that is how we make informed decisions and
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our wonderful system of government. argument information to make the choices. sources and methods, operations secret but the law and politicad philosophies has got to be public. judge gorsuch, as a senior attorney in the department of justice was a practitioner secret law.understa as i indicated, the public is not going to know about secret operations we protected. our legal system cannot survive when americans understand the law says one thing and the government or secret court says uncons
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secret law prevents the public from knowing whether their fundamental rights are being infringed by an on accountableec government aided by compliant courts.resent secret law also keeps the congress in the dark. congressman's job to represent people and oversee the government. congress whose only recourse with the free people, the executive judicial alliance of secrecy that infringes their liberty. each it's my view that it makes a mockery of the of, that members of congress in each senator to preserve, protect and defend our constitution. secret law is fundamentally corrosive to the rule of law and america. as we learned during his confirmation hearing, judge gorsuch was a supporter of secret law.rtment o
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in 2005, the cia was conducting a secret torture program. in may the department of justice office of legal counsel determine secretly the torture o technique were somehow deemed that was statutory prohibitions. this was extraordinary, willful, legal analysis. and it was entirely consistent with how the congress and public reads the law. so, then our distinguished colic from arizona, senator mccain whe knows a little bit about thesecn issues having been subjected to them in the defense of our country, senator mccain got past the detainee treatment act senator mccain understood report
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for our country having given of himself that we had to find a way out of this problem. the mccain law prohibits the a cruel and inhuman or degrading treatments that has been an issue here. both the law, the language of the law, and the context inad which it was passed would leave every american to understand that a decision has been made by their elected official to limit the power of government. but judge gorsuch, then an employee of the bush administration had a solution. december 2005 he wrote to the author of the justice department, mr. bradberry about a presidential statement that would magically transform the mccain law into an endorsement of torture.nhuman
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what the judge wrote was the mccain amendment was best read as essentially codifying existing interrogation policy. r in other words, according to judge gorsuch john mccain's long, the one that passed 90 - 9 in the united states senate, that somehow his law endorsed torture when it did just the opposite. the issue came up in his nomination hearing. judge gorsuch as explanation was he was making the recommendation is a lawyer up in his clientng which was the administration. i have to say mr. president, there is one thing we have learned, following orders for
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defense has gone on for far too long in the city. it is a small and feeble excuse, unbecoming of a judge nominated to the highest court in the land. a judge justifying violations of the law and the constitutionounl just so his boss can say, i was following the advice of counsel. that is making the choice to do wrong. the mccain amendment, what we passed here in the congress did not greenlight torture. it should not codify torture. anybody who has ever heard johno mccain talk about this issue described his personal, horrifying experiences with torture knows it is certainly could not have been his intent in writing the bill. any lawyer, especially one secretly advising the government has an obligation to the law and
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constitution. judge gorsuch as failure to recognize the principle and his choice to do wrong, in my view disqualifies him from the seat in the united states supreme court. torture is not the only illegal program in which he left his fingerprint. e gorsuch helped pre . . they're inherent in the officer. it added, and i quote, they cannot be diminished or legislated away by other coequal branches of the government. if that were the case, then no action taken in this area by the elected representatives of the people has any weight. the foreign intelligence surveillance act that existed since the 1970's would be just some kind of advisory statement. section 702 of the foreign intelligence surveillance act which we're going to debate this
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year be little more than wasted paper. and the u.s.a. freedom act the usa freedom act which ended the collection of phone records might as well have never been a signed into law. voting to confirm judge gorsuch called into question any member's commitment to those laws to be passed. judge gorsuch said he didn't believe the attorney general's testimony and that again, he was only acting as a speechwriter and as such, he absolved himself responsibilities of his actions.
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like the endorsement of torture, assertions of presidential authority to override congressional limits on warrantless surveillance are at the rule of law. up an the judge gorsuch, a man who violat every day for individuals who are violating the law, judge and gorsuch has a power to say no and he would not make that choice.rm an colleagues voting to confirm a individual on the lifetime aga supreme court with judges gorsuch has stood for and against over the course of his career, we all go into this debate and we will have to reflect on. i a history in support for secretn illegal and unconstitutional programs is an unacceptable
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record for someone seeking a seat on the supreme court. i am reminded in the senate again and again in this talk held the supreme court has rubberstamped the executive excesses of our executive and legislature over the years rather than to defend individual liberties. that's the record. supreme court rubberstamping the excesses of the executive andlie legislature rather than protecting individual liberties of the american people. lying to you is it is our job as senators to ensure the supreme court does not repeat the errors of yesterday enshriningof the disenfranchisement and discrimination and denying equal protection based on prejudice and political agenda. the only way to prevent this is
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to appoint judges that recogniza the judiciary as a bulwark against any attempt to infringet on our inalienable rights. so, the bottom line for me, colleagues, is whether judge gorsuch recognizes that rights are reserved to the people. there is no respect for individual rights are liberty to be found in the viewpoint that powerful torture that favors the powerful over the powerless or that tramples on the rights of own americans to determine the courses of their own lives. unfortunately, we have learned over the last few


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