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tv   Senate Debate on Supreme Court Nominee  CSPAN  April 8, 2017 1:19am-2:33am EDT

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judge asked iliescu died figure plus year. fifty-four / 45 with three democrats the only ones to vote in favor of the nomination. next we will show you all of today's senate session leading up to the vote. one hour 15 minutes. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. will lead the senate in prayer. . >> let us pray. lorded of popes me with us
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mitt but with the military response but to abuse the price for freedom? and contain it to provide lawmakers with opportunities to serve the both serve you
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and country. bestow upon them of blessings of one good example is his view can be certain of the old the mitt tramp be back with then less
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evening the vice president notified via the of chemical weapons against his own people through military action.. the action was taken to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again. i support both the actions and the objective.
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the planning of this operation was clearly will contend taken against the airfield of which they were used and but to have that emerge commission deviant -- reveal with the institution said of everett be what
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traditionally with the attention of all senators to have a briefing on this matter later today isn't and he fell when moved to the confirmation because surely he will make and over the
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last half century.or
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this the last resort ridley
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americans seeking fairness and justice against forces much larger then the muscles of the time those zero struggling to stay in the middle-class as hard as ever to get into the middle-class wil reid needed justice of the court to help break back in the direction of the people. we're turgeon judge gorsuch to the dependent care i did just as the america badly needs his a justice for the federalist society and the foundation so with the skill of the armed forces and to be at the hands of those and
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syria to make sure he knows when he has such despicableig atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do. this is no incumbent with the trump administration to fill up with a cast hearing and nobody. >> what we're doing today and how you need and 112 people serving on the supreme court did is hard not to be reminded as we vote for the replacement of justice scalia also serve other court 26 years after reagan who appointed him
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left the white house for other teen years after he died so clearly the impact of the supreme court appointment for a nomination for the president has the potential to last long beyond either the service of those in the senate at the time or certainly beyond those of the president at the time, and so it's a significant decision. a federal court appointment, generally an appointment for life, is different than an appointment for someone who serves during the tenure of the president, and i think almost president, and i think almost for at cabinet appointments and other appointments that are concurrent with the president's term. this is an appointment that lasts for as long as the judge is willing to serve and able to serve, and at 49 years old, serve, and at 49 years old,
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an death 49 years old judge course it too has soared even the judge 10 years he should know if he likes being a judge or not and we would hope he would have been long and healthy life to use his skills on the court. to be very obvious but t somebody who comes to this job with a significant body of work that they had plenty of time to look at before this nomination was made that the 800 opinions as been overturned by his now court exactly one time.'s
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that is a pretty incredible average of decision making if one side of a hundred times is the only time is the court appeals that decides your decision does not meet their view that this not mean in your view of the law or the constitution of course both of those things after today with his view of the law or how you apply the law will go to the court with him. at the white house even for e his nomination was announced >> host: did judge is not always happy with their opinions. that is a very reassuring sense to be a the lot and with the constitution to
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determine the facts of the case neither reality of the law one of the things that makes this a great country to live in and working in and take a chance is the one being you can rely on that if good lawyers read the law that they can all understand it to me the same thing so what judge course it was saying is personal opinions are not always satisfied but also reflects the lot is what it was intended to mean. there are ways to change ended is our job not of did the job anywhere including
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the supreme court their job is to you determine what it was intended to mean when it was written in what the constitution was intended to mean and everything it intended is to what we want to live with today that is why we have a long list of amendments starting with the of bill of rights. to say we have to add the next to the us so you have of bill of rights that is not the job of the accords were to sign them into lot in the court's job is was it judge gorsuch understands it to me he said i have one
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client and that client is the of law. is not either party and appearing before the court of plant is not the government the client is the laugh and said judges are not politicians in robes. we have a job to do that iss different than of the court. b as decent judge course itch to the court to be the 113th person in the history of the country to serve on the court that it takes an understanding of what a judge should do that most americans when they, think about what the courtob is supposed to do that is the job of the court i think to he will be a great addition y to the court with tenures
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experience and what to great training he has had to be ready for the accord. r the course to get the job done we have to return to the traditional standard country that has always been the standard in the country until the last few years role easy to confuse but that has been applied to legislation to be sure the minority is heard moving forward but there was never a super
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majority give it is impossible to find into officially decide they will not have a vote on the judge had every judge gather vote but when they did the majority of senators determined if there ago clarence thomas got 52 votes and judge of the dugout 58 in to be part of the structure to essentially the
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practice sign the nominees that was the way the nominees are always dealt with. and then 2013 control by other side of the ideal in decided there renomination available to them that have a vacancy to fill would be determined by a simple majority. a s so when you eventually have a supreme court vacancy live whoever would it have the same majority to the supreme court so i heard the
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minority leader talk about the importance to recommit ourselves to the protections for the minority and frankly this exercise while legislation has always been handled in that way with day greater commitment to move forward with the debates those who have said nobody is willing to back down on
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the challenges the senate faces even with uh minority u vote to take such -- six years research to run for election voters have to say again and maybe even a third time the way the country has run up until now and those?ss decisions in this institution is the legislative coming together with the voters to say another time you did not get it. we're sending different
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people because we want to make this change and then to have that 113th person in the history of america too serve a lifetime term i am confident the president's nominee than the good person to the court with an understanding of the supreme court of the united states is supposed to be not to letat the law to determine what itn should have said but the constitution to determine what it should have said anyone to stand available understands the principal to take it to the court workingwo with his colleagues to rally
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round what the law says and what people rely on in the country and we should know the courts are there to determine what is right in any given case afford to the vote the be sometime in the near future and i notice themr absence of a quorum. >> i rise today to endorse the nomination to confirm judge gorsuch to the united states supreme court by douceur if mixed emotions because of the action takene
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to achieve this position will have lasting effects better and fortune on thisit body also confirmation ofre future just as with the supreme court by 51 votes rather than go back to the history of the former majority leader did i am very concerned about the future with only a 51 vote majority required to lead to polarization of the nominees when the majority does not have to consider the concerns and the votes of the minority. democ my focus on the democrats unprecedented filibuster and
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then to invoke the nuclear option and so without qualification to confirmd judge garza jazz and associate justice and the united states supreme court. and those other so well qualified unskilled with such an established record of the independence and temperament that judge gorsuch for this very reason ths to be voted in 2006 and yet no believe the very same judge is outside the
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mainstream and is unacceptable to serve in the nation's highest court. but this is breathtaking let me take the moment to join support wide judge gorsuch is so deserving for confirmation to the supreme court first and foremost, asla a world-class tourist he has maintained the lowest rating of all those dissenting and according to the congressional research service the majority of his opinions tonight come with the consent of the supreme court has never overrule any of his opinions not a single
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one and participated 97 percent of them to be decided unanimously these are faxing in addition word judge gorsuch set on the panel only one time. to build the exceptional representation for the sharp intellect and then to characterize him as an independent thinker and one of the best writers of the f judiciary today. and judge gorsuch he
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graduated from columbia university with fiat -- five beta kappa and obtained a doctorate degree from oxford university serving as a tremendous marshall scholar additionally clerking for u.s. circuit court judge and supreme court justice white and kennedy and alsoso principal deputy assistant attorney general at the department of justice before serving as said judge u.s. circuit court of appeals for the tenth circuit. so to earn the highest possible rating that is called the gold standard for evaluating nominations into bien exceptional nominee and
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that was extraordinary and questioning by that committee to quiz judge gorsuch on every aspect of constitutional law 1,200 and depressions and furthermore with the help of friend and former member was exemplary before his hearing with the judiciary request to provide 70 pages of written answers in the personal record in 75,000 pages of documentspinion, including speeches so the white house archives
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produced to 180,000 pages of documents related to his time at the doj.wever, in and then to be subject seeing claims of privilege but then with the bipartisan consideration the department of justice provided myally, in friends on the other side anyway. d for almost 300 separate questions posed to provide another 70 pages that 70 to review the answers for the nomination. other despite everything is said by friends on the other side of the american people believe that he is firmly autumn of the mainstream but
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when you do that then you lose credibility. that is simply not true to as many of my friends have the opportunity over the 20 hours of his confirmation hearing asking for his personal opinions on issues to come before him if he is confirmed to the court in the past hypothetical for ethical reasons and could not possibly be expected to answer. here is straight talk their real reason why most of my friends oppose the confirmation is that president trump nominated him with that base of support in the special
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interest on the far left but if most of my colleagues or my friends on the other side of the aisle oppose the nominee they will oppose any nominee the record is clears, that judge corset qualification judicial temperament and record of independence are trulymy exceptional he has my unqualified support for his confirmation for the nation's highest court. when president obama and the presidents before him were collected from both parties it was the standard procedure here in the united states senate to give the
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incoming president the benefit of the doubt the people have also basically endorsed his responsibility and his right to nominate judges to the courts. that is a given because american people spoke with their selection taking into consideration those responsibilities the f president would have so i voted for most of the obama is nominees as it did with clinton's so now we are so polarized even with the qualifications of judge courses each is now opposed by a of friends will be beside the the aisle and on this side of the ideal that is not the way the senate
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was designed to work and to communicate and work together and understand results and then they try to do things in a bipartisan fashion with the near hysterical opposition but does not bode well. i yield of four. >> we all pay attention to what he has to sayilitary especially with military affairs and to be with the
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true great senators of this body i just wish they would pay attention so thank you. i rise today in strong support of the 21st secretary of the airforce nevada the privilege of knowing dr. wilson --h distinguishes herself from the house intelligence committee to be a person of great intellect and character. boys receiving l. level of excellence knowing success from an early age she made history as one of the first
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female graduates of the airforce academy and thrived as a student getting a rhodes scholarship getting a ph.d. in relations want and then route to a book and as a lawyer i was impressed with her "in-depth" analysisaw of international law and as all of the more impressive when she was serving as the director of defense policy financial security councilnt whn for a commitment to national security was evident here in the house of representativeswh from 1998 mishima of the house after more than a decade of service congress's loss to show extraordinary
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skill but dr. heather wilson is a person the of great intellect strong management skills and i believe to be an outstanding secretary of the airforce and i encourage her to be confirmed without delay and to address those challenges after all there are fundamental issues especially the air force that must be confronted in is evident i'm especially concerned about the airforce because with the responsibility few words describing each sitter
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problems with our air force is too few. to few aircraft regarding the shortage the chief of staff recently testified less than 50 percent are ready to perform combat missions of which they are signed. . .
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other side know that this is early in president trump's reign
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as president of the united states and that he might very well have another one, two, or even three or four nominees to the court. and i don't blame my colleagues on the other side for being concerned because let's face it, he is unlikely to put people on the court with whom they agree. on the other hand, he is very likely to put people on the court who are great lawyers, who have had great experience, who will bring great distinction to the court, and who will without telling us how they're going to vote and how they're going to rule, do the job that we all count on the supreme court doing. the supreme court to me is a sacred institution. we've had great justices on both sides, on all sides, as a matter of fact. we've had great democrat justices. we've had great republican justices.
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and no one knows how great a nominee is going to be until that nominee actually serves on the court and does the job that is so difficult to do as a member of the united states supreme court. neil gorsuch i have every confidence will be one of the all-time great justices for that court. he deserves confirmation. he deserves overwhelming confirmation. if we weren't in such a dispute tif -- disputeitive mood around here, if we didn't have so much problems with each other, he would be a -- he'd be an easy person to support. i hope we can put our politics aside and look at the man, look at his experience, look at his ability, look at his genius. look at his decency. look at the fact that he agreed with his colleagues on 99% of the cases coming before the
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tenth circuit court of appeals and most of those were democrats. look at those things and say, my gosh, would are we about here? has it just become a politicized exercise every time we have a supreme court nomination one way or the other? i have to admit it looked as though hillary clinton was going to win. senator mcconnell decided that we should not put merrick garland on during a presidential election which i think is a good decision. it was a sincere decision. and it looked as though hillary clinton was going to win, that she might very well put a much more liberal justice on the court -- or judge on the court than merrick garland. the fact of the matter is that senator mcconnell knew the odds were against republicans
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winning the presidency this last election and to some it was kind of miraculous for donald trump to win. it wasn't miraculous to me because last may donald trump called me and asked me to support him. i said you don't want me. i said, i'm the kiss of death. he laughed and he said, what do you mean kiss of death? i said well, i supported jeb bush. he went down to defeat. and i supported marco rubio, my colleague in the senate, and he had to withdraw. i said, so i'm the kiss of death. he said, i want you any way. so i became one of two senators who supported this president -- this now president of the united states. and was gratified to see him win that election. i thought he could. deep down i knew there was a great chance because i was going all over the country and i found
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that people were not willing to say who they were for. and i knew darn well they were for trump. they just didn't want to admit it. especially democrats but he got an overwhelming number of democrats and i understand them. i learned to trade as a young man, to vote for him. when i say i learned to trade, i was born not with the wealth of some of our colleagues. i was born what some people tod. we didn't think we were poverty stricken. but my parents were very solid, decent, honorable people, but they were poor. and, frankly, poor in the sense of monetary value. but they were good, honest, decent people. and i feel very blessed to have been raised by them. and all i can say is this. to allow the selection of a supreme court nominee to come
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down to wide -- vote against that nominee, of the quality of neil gorsuch if that's what my colleagues on the other side in their wisdom decide to do, i think it's a disgrace. i think it flies in the face of years and years of people selected for the court. now, we can all differ. everybody has that right. all i can say is i just wish we were more together as a body. i have great respect for my democratic colleagues as well as my republican colleagues. this is the greatest deliberative body in the world and despite our difficulties and our differences, we do do a lot of really good things for this country. and we do it at its best in a bipartisan way when we can.
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mr. cornyn: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. cornyn: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: madam president, i'd like to start briefly by mentioning the horrific chemical attack on innocent civilians in syria earlier this week. it was nothing short of evil and i stand shoulder to shoulder with the administration in condemning this brutality. again we see bashar al-assad crossing a line, a line drawn and then ignored by the obama administration. the united states and the world community simply can't stand idly while syria continues crimes against humanity. again, under russian protection. that's why last night the administration responded quickly and proportionately, and i commend the president and his national security team for acting decisively and sending a
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clear message to assad and our allies. and i'm sure in a message that wasn't missed by the leaders of the iranian government, the russian federation, and north korea. i agree with ambassador haley that russia's obstructionism at the u.n. has enabled assad and prevented international action, resulting in at least 400,000 syrians dead in this civil war and millions other displaced as refugees not only internally but externally as well. going forward, i stand ready to work with the president and his administration on a unified strategy to defeat assad's barbarism and to work toward greater stability in syria and throughout the region. madam president, on another subject, as we all know, here in about 20 minutes we will start the vote to confirm neil gorsuch as the next justice of the united states supreme court.
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over the last few weeks our colleagues and i have, and the entire country as a matter of fact, have gotten to know judge neil gorsuch not only as a judge but as a man. he is a good man of superb qualifications and incredible integrity. a colorado native, judge gorsuch has served on the denver-based tenth circuit court of appeals for about ten years. he's known for his sharp intellect, his brilliant writing and his faithful interpretation of the constitution and laws passed by congress. he is, in short, a distinguished jurist with an impeccable legal and academic record. in addition to his decade on the bench, his professional experience includes years practicing in a private law firm, press -- prestigious clerkships including the supreme court under two separate justices and service in the department of
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justice. it is undenying that judge gorsuch is a qualified high-caliber nominee and i have no doubt that he will serve our nation well on the supreme court. but of course, in spite of all this, his sterling background, proven character, broad bipartisan support, we've seen an unprecedented attack on this good judge and this good man in the form of a partisan political filibuster, the first ever lodged against a supreme court nominee. yesterday our democratic colleagues would have prevented an up-or-down vote that we're getting ready to have here starting at 11:30. for what? well, certainly it wasn't because of the judge, his character, his qualifications, his background and experience. it was merely because so many of our colleagues across the aisle simply haven't gotten over the fact that donald trump won the presidential election and hillary clinton didn't. before judge gorsuch was
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nominated, the minority leader, our colleague, senator schumer, said they needed a, quote, mainstream nominee. after president trump nominated a mainstream nominee, democrats looked for other ways to make him out to be some sort of extremist or radical. but they failed because there is simply no evidence to justify those kinds of characterizations. for one, judicial experts spanning the political spectrum, including president obama's former solicitor general, voiced their support. and, second, they had to deal with the facts of his record. during his time on the tenth circuit, judge gorsuch was involved in thousands of decisions, 2,700, to be exact. and the vast majority of those panel decisions made by at least three judges, sometimes more, on the panel, 97% of them were unanimous. so you would basically
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have to slander the reputations of all those other judges with whom the judge agreed to claim that he is some sort of out-of-the mainstream extremist. that is truly an impressive record for a judge in a multijudge court like the denver-based circuit court of appeals, and it simply rebuts any picture our friends across the aisle have attempted to paint of him as some kind of extremist or radical. and i would ask our friends this question, if judge gorsuch doesn't fit the bill for a qualified mainstream nominee, then is there any nominee from this president or any other republican president that will meet the democrats' arbitrary, flimsy standard? time and time again our friends across the aisle failed to make any intellectually honest argument against this nominee, and still they determined to block him. that brought us to the
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cloture vote yesterday and the last-ditch effort to block judge gorsuch. they didn't want to even give him the up-or-down vote that we're getting ready to have here in a few minutes. instead they wanted to kill his nomination by simply refusing an up-or-down vote and moving his nomination forward. in our nation's entire history, before yesterday there had only been four cloture votes for supreme court nominees. only four. none of them had been cast as a partisan filibuster in determining to try to block the nomination. until yesterday. still the minority leader cheered on by the extreme groups on the left barreled this chamber to the first ever partisan filibuster of a supreme court nominee following a regrettable and recent tradition of democrat obstructionism when it came to republican judicial nominees. and that's where, now
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that there's a republican in the white house again, that's what they want to do again, is obstruct. this is a wholly concocted method that democrats started back when george w. bush was president, to deny a republican president an opportunity to nominate the person of his choice. confirmed by a majority vote in the senate. before 2000, before senator schumer and a number of liberal legal acadominitions said they wanted to raise the threshold to 60 votes, no one would have ever dreamed that the constitution would have allowed for a 60-vote requirement rather than an up-or-down vote. it's not that our friends across the aisle truly opposed judge gorsuch. the fact is they oppose president trump. that's what this is all about.
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but this vote isn't actually about president trump. it's about the man we've all learned so much about, judge neil gorsuch who has a record of faithfully interpreting the law, a man who has proven himself to possess an independent judicial man, who simply follows the law wherever it may lead and someone who has won bipartisan approval. this vote is about delivering on a promise. republicans promised to let the american people -- to let their voice be heard in deciding who they would choose as president to select the next supreme court justice. the american people did that. they chose president trump, and he chose judge gorsuch. if hillary clinton had been elected president today, i have no doubt that her choice for the supreme court would be confirmed by a majority vote in the same united states senate. so now it's time we deliver on
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the promise that we made to the american people and confirm judge neil gorsuch to the supreme court. madam president, i yield the floor. mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: the democratic whiep dush during madam president, i hasn't -- mr. durbin: madam president, i hadn't planned to speak but i thought i ought to add my version. it's slightly different. justice antonin scalia passed away in february of last year. president barack obama, president of the united states of america, had a constitutional responsibility under article 2, section 2, to nominate a person to fill the vacancy on the supreme court as every other president had and he did. he came up with the name merrick garland, the chief judge on the d.c. circuit court of appeals, a man who was widely respected. juneed unanimously well -- judged unanimously well qualified by the american bar association and president obama submitted his name to this congress, to the senate, a
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senate which is with a republican majority and a leader, senator mitch mcconnell of kentucky. senator mcconnell and the republican senators did something that had never happened in the history of this claim better, not once -- chamber, not once. they denied to president obama's nominee the opportunity for a hearing and a vote. in fact, senator mcconnell went further and said i won't even meet with the man. it had never happened before. and you say to yourself, well, come on, this isn't bean bag. you're in washington. this is major league politics. this sort of thing must happen all the time. never. in fact, if you go back not that far in history to 1988 and the last year of president ronald reagan's presidency, his fourth year, some call it the lame duck year, there was a vacancy on the supreme court. republican president ronald reagan sent the name anthony kennedy to a democratically
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controlled senate which had the power to do the same thing senator mcconnell did, deny a hearing, deny a vote. well, what did the democrats do? they gave to justice kennedy a hearing, a vote, and sent him to fill the vacancy on the supreme court. the republicans under senator mcconnell refused merrick garland the same opportunity and they said to president obama, you're in your fourth year. you're a lame duck. your choice for the supreme court really doesn't count. but there was more to it. really the strategy was based on the premise and possibility that a republican would be elected in this last november election. and if so, that republican president could fill the vacancy on the supreme court. well, that's exactly what happened. the election of donald trump gave him the opportunity to fill the vacancy of antonin scalia, a vacancy which should have been filled, i believe, by merrick garland, president obama's nominee.
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that's what led up to the vote yesterday, but there was more. where did the name neil gorsuch come from? it's true. he served on the tenth circuit for ten years. he'd been approved by the united states senate. he certainly had a strong resume, but how did he get on the finalist list? well, most of the time you never know. presidents don't always disclose how they come up with names, but in this case it was very open. because during the course of his campaign, donald trump, the candidate, listed 21 names of people that he would appoint to the u.s. supreme court. on that list of names, neil gorsuch of colorado. how did that name make the list? well, we know. because president trump told us. he was the choice of the federalist society and the heritage foundation. if you know these two organizations, you'd know that they are republican advocacy groups, very conservative groups, and they were going to pick the nominees that were
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approved by them and submit them to donald trump which he then publicized. we know that because at the end of the day, donald trump thanked the federalist society for nominating judge gorsuch. that's how his name came to us. now, i sat through the hearings as a member of the senate judiciary committee. and i will tell you that most supreme court nominees don't go out of their way to volunteer information. they try to be respectful, but they don't try to say much of anything. they don't want to get in trouble either as judges or as candidates to be a judge on the u.s. supreme court. and so there were gaps in his testimony and questions raised about him. but i don't want to dwell on him so much as i want to dwell on this process. what happened yesterday on the floor of the united states senate was unfortunately. the last four justices on the supreme court, two nominated by president obama, sonia sotomayor, elena kagan, two
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nominated by george w. bush, john roberts as well as justice alito, all received 60 votes during the course of their consideration. that is not, as the senator from texas alluded, written in the law per say. but it was written until yesterday in the rules of the senate. you needed 60 votes to overcome the possibility of a fillibuster and to file cloture. well, that rule was changed yesterday to a majority. that's an unfortunate occurrence. a lifetime appointment to the highest court on the land should be more than just a bare majority vote, as i'm concerned and historically with very few exceptions take has been the case. that is not the case here. we found yesterday a change in the rules which was under the power of the majority to do, a change in the rules which lowered the standard for this judge for the first time officially in at least a century to a mere majority vote. that's what he received and
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that's what brings his nomination to the floor today to be considered for the supreme court. at the end of yesterday's session when the rule was changed, some senators were engaged in high fives on the other side of the aisle. i'm not sure why. i don't think it was a time for any winning celebration. i think it was an unfortunate moment. and the question is where will we go from here? we know what the outcome of the vote will be on judge gorsuch this afternoon. that's preordained by the rule struggle that we went through yesterday. but where does the senate go? where should we go? well, i hope that we'll have the good sense to restore the 60-vote margin when it comes to future supreme court nominees. it may mean that justice gorsuch has an asterisk by his name as the only one to have been officially approved with a majority vote, but i'm hoping even if he reaches the supreme court, that that won't hold him back from serving this nation well. i know he's told us over and
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over again that's exactly what he wants to do. but i would hope that the senate would restore the standard o of 640 votes -- 60 votes necessary for the supreme court. i really believe this is an extraordinary opportunity for a person to serve this nation, an extraordinary responsibility, and we should take it very seriously. it shouldn't be a majority decision. it should be a 60-vote decision and i hope we get back to that very soon. secondly, i hope that the senate will not be derailed by the supreme court nomination having happened so early in this session. this is a great institution. i've given a big part of my life to it and look forward to serving more in the senate, not as long as the senator from iowa who i think has retired the trophy in his state for his service in the united states senate. but i do believe that this is a great institution. an example is the senator from iowa, opposite political faith. he and i have worked to egg on some important issue -- to together on some important issues in the past and we want
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to work together in the future. i think we can and if we can restore the glory days of this body, it's in the best interest of this nation. beyond the supreme court nomination, let's hope that we can all come together to make that happen. i see my colleagues filing in. i know they're anxious, many of them to vote. i'm not going to hold the chamber. i'm just going to say that i thank the presiding officer and my friend, the chairman of the senate judiciary committee. i look forward to the vote. i yield the floor. mr. grassley: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: we're about to vote on the nomination of judge gorsuch. so i would like to say to my colleagues why i'm so pleased that we'll soon be referring to him as justice gorsuch. i opened our judiciary committee hearing with this. as justice scalia said, it is, quote, the proud boast of our democracy that we have a
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government of law and not man. without a secure structure of separated powers, our bill of rights would be worthless. end of scalia's quote. the separation of powers in our constitution is the guardian of our liberty. judge gorsuch understands that. his deep understanding of the separation of powers enlivens his opinions. by faithfully enforcing the boundaries among the branches of government and the power of the federal government in our lives, this justice will ensure that the law protects our liberties. and here's the other thing that's important about a judge who respects the separation of powers. we know that he'll be independent. he told us that he is his own
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man, that no person speaks for him. he's not beholden to the president who appointed him. and his testimony shows that he's not beholding to us in the congress either. he wouldn't compromise his independence to win confirmation votes. he passed the test. this is a man of integrity, and his qualifications for the bench are exceptional. you know the story. columbia university, bachelor's. harvard law school, doctorate. oxford university, partnership at a press siegous -- prestigious law firm and high level julz department -- justice department service to our country but most importantly a decade-long record of faithfully
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applying the law on the federal bench in 2700 cases as a member of the tenth circuit court of appeals. so let me sum up this way. this brilliant, honest, humble man is a judge's judge, and he will make a superb mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that proceedings of the quorum call be dispensed with. the vice president: without objection. mr. durbin: i yield back the balance of time on this side. the vice president: without objection, all time is yielded back. the question occurs on the confirmation of neil m. gorsuch of colorado to be an associate justice of the supreme court of the united states. mr. mcconnell: i ask for the yeas and nays. the vice president: is there a sufficient second? there is.
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