tv Senator Grassley Eager to Restore Comity to Senate After Gorsuch... CSPAN April 8, 2017 7:49am-8:02am EDT
the clerk will call the role. >> shortly thereafter, the senate went on to confirm judge gorsuch with a final vote of 54 to 45. senators joe donnelly, heidi heitkamp and neil were the only democrats to vote along with every republican except johnny isaacson who was not present for the vote. craig kaplan points out the democratic senator michael bennet voted against the nomination despite introducing judge gorsuch and his confirmation hearing last month. his actions are similar to former senator scott brown, frank wattenberg and evan by who did the same for justices elena kagan, daniel l ito and john roberts. after the vote, senate judiciary chair chuck grassley spoke with reporters
about the confirmation of judge neil gorsuch. he was asked about the changing of rules for supreme court nominees and what his committee will be working on next. this is 10 minutes. >> hi everyone, i just got 30 seconds so i'll be glad to answer your questions if you have anything on this subject. thanks everybody for being here. there are a lot of significant events that brought us to this point of adding a new member to the supreme court. but i thinkthat we just witnessed one of the most important votes that a member of the united states can have . judge gorsuch will be an independent voiceon that supreme court , he proved that very much through the hearing and certain questions . he's proved he's a judges judge once interpret law and
not stretch the intent of congress. so finally i am honored to be a part, to get this exceptional jurist elevated to the supreme court, a person we now call justice gorsuch. any questions? >> this confirmation came at a deep political crisis. what does it say about judge gorsuch that in order to get him appointed you had to fundamentally change the way the system operated? >> you obviously are talking about the price i paid a year ago for not having hearing. i would suggest to you that your question creates a problem that doesn't exist. not that it's not a legitimate question because we've heard for the last two
or three days. what we have basically done if your question refers to going back to the read rule of november 2013, i think that answers your question but let's go back to what i made very clear on the floor in a couple statements.the statements of, from the democrat retreat of 2001 when they said we've got to change the ground rules, they did change the ground rules. those ground rules were changed for a lot of nominees that george w. bush had, then those same ground rules because you can't have one rule for a democrat president and another rule for republicans, continued through the obama administration so those democrats met back in 2001, to poison the well that got us to where we are, it brought about the read rules of november 2013 and it brought about what we did yesterday.
so what does this get us to? the bottom line to answer your question, it gets us back to where the senate was between 2001, no, between 1789 and 2001 when there wasn't considerations of filibustering judges. >> but the answer that, the idea of those two decades later, happened when the judge was confirmed, but there's that controversy around here, as long as judge gorsuch sits on the supreme court they say well, they got there because of this special action. does that somehow put an asterisk? >> i don't think so because you could say the same thing for the people onthe dc district court of appeals now who got there because we changed the rules . >> but that's why we still talked about this, most people don't know. they know the supreme court. >> i think justice thomas answers your question.
if justice thomas is as controversial as he was, more controversial than judge gorsuch is, he can get there without having a filibuster, why would the issue even be brought up this time? >> are you concerned at all about animosity from the democrats following the rules change? >> i think senator durbin in his last speech set a tone hoping that we can get things done and he referred to his and my, i don't think you mentioned the criminal justice reform bill but he and i are notonly working together last year , and so far this year, he and i meeting together with people close to the president on this very subject, we are going to do what it takes to get the comedy back to the senate but i think the comedy will come back to the senate in regard to legislation but i think it's going to take somebody like senator schumer that started this whole
slippery slope in 2001 to drill a new well that's not going to be poisoned and there will be both republicans and democrats to help it, go ahead. >> if your committee has more that will have to be filled in the coming months, what will you abide by? >> the answer is yes but i hope you remember that, you could get a, there's research that's been done way back in chairman's before me and i've had it brought up now but there's been some exceptions to the blue slip rule and i wouldn't want to say that there might not be some exceptions to the blue slip rule but as a general proposition , the answer is yes. >> senator mcconnell was at that retreat and called the decision not to hold earrings for judge garland one of the most consequential decisions he was involved in.
what when you look back at a time, what's your view about how in your career, how big was that for you? >> i don't think there's any more consequential going from one standpoint, it isn't any more consequential than what biden said in 92 or what schumer said before the constitution society in 2007, 18 months before that if there's a vacancy, let the people decide and let the new president make the decision. that's a consequential thing because we would not be doing what we did in regard to garland if it hadn't been for the president that was set by those statements, the only thing consequential about this one,there was an actual vacancy and they were anticipating a vacancy that
didn't happen . >> how do you think the next nomination , how do you think the next nomination on this administration will play out between democrats? >> the same way except you won't have a, you won't have the predecessor boat that we had to go back to the read rule. thank you all. >> i'm goingto ask , you been between attorney general sessions in the supreme court , the confirmation hearing, what does that mean for you on the judiciary? >> there will be a lot of nominations for attorney general and for all the judges that can come up. but also hopefully working on criminal justice reform, juvenile justice, authorization. i haven't heard much about patent or the big issue last time, i think the supreme court is getting involved
with the patent issue but till we see what they do on some of these things that may preclude are doing anything in that area. but that's what i would expect to be my spending some time on. some of those things are controversial, there will be a lot of noncontroversial things that i think will come up in the meantime. >> senator, how involved was the judiciary in investigating political abuses of pfizer cords and intelligence reports? >> right now i think we are going to wait until our subcommittee run by graham and the white house get done with their investigations and see what that leads us to before i make any decision on the full committee but what you're talking about surely is going to be brought up as we have our oversight hearings on the attorney general and on the, let's
see, fbi director but also it just now comes to my mind that there has to be some reauthorization so maybe in connection with that reauthorization there would be an investigation but i would rather say at this point i hearing as opposed to an investigation. >> are you sure that it wasn't political espionage during the obama administration, the surveillance programs that it would undermine support for those programs in congress or the public? >> i don't want to draw a conclusion but i have heard two or three other members of both bodies that have suggested that. but i think they would be suggesting it even if you didn't have this conversation. i think that's where they're coming from, thank you all very much.
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