tv U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mc Connell Tribute to Justice Ruth Bader... CSPAN September 22, 2020 8:06am-8:23am EDT
>> our campaign 2020 coverage continues with candidates campaigning and debating. c-span, unfiltered view of politics. today treasury secretary steven mnuchin and federal reserve chair jerome powell testified on ongoing coronavirus response before the house financial services committee. watch live at 1038 eastern on c-span3 come online c-span.org or listen live on the free c-span radio app. >> monday and use senate members came to the floor to pay tribute to supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg passed away friday after a fight with pancreatic cancer. we heard from mitch mcconnell and chuck schumer about justice ginsburg's life and career and the future of the supreme court.
>> mr. president. >> theel majority leader. >> our nation is morning the end of an exceptional american life. justice ruth bader ginsburg meant so much to our country. first and foremost, she was a brilliant generational legal mind who climbed past one obstacle after another to summit the very pinnacle of her profession. justice ginsburg was a fixture on our nation's highest court for more than a quarter of a century. she was not just a lawyer. no, not just a lawyer, but a leader from majority opinions to impassioned dissents. her life's work will not only continue to shape jurisprudence, but also enlightened scholars and students for generations. by all accounts, justice
ginsburg loved her work because she loved the law. in a more ordinary life story, her courage and continued excellence in the face of multiple serious illnesses would itself be the heroic climax rather than just one more remarkable chapter among so many. on the court, justice ginsburg was a universally admired colleague. it's no wonder that many americans have taken particularly comfort these past days in remembering her famous friendship with her ideological opposite, the late justice scalia. together, they made sure the halls of justice also rang with laughter and comedy. they rarely sat on the same side of a high-profile decision, but they still sat together at the opera and most any other time they could manage to be together.
the legal world is mourning a giant, but justice ginsburg's fellow justices, a legion of loyal law clerks, and countless many others are mourning a close friend or a mentor. the senate sends condolences to them all. yet justice ginsburg's impact on american life went deeper stilll friday's loss feels personal to millions of americans who may have never made her acquaintance. justice ginsburg with a spirited, powerful, and historic champion for american women to a degree that transcends any legal or philosophical disagreement. as she climbed from the middle class, brooklyn jewish roots of which she was so proud into the most rarefied air of law and government. the future justice had to surmount one sexist obstacle
after another. and justice ginsburg did not only climb a mountain, she blazed the trail through deeds, through words, and simply through her example. she helped clear away the cobwebs of prejudice. she opened one professional door after another and made certain they stayed open behind her directly or indirectly. she helped the entire generations of talented women build their lives as they saw fit and enrich our society through professional work, law and politics aside, no friend of equality could fail to appreciate justice ginsburg's determination. finally, while justice ginsburg relish forceful writing and detailed argument, she was also
in important ways, a uniter. in recent years, many who considered themselves her admirers and might wish to claim the justice for their political side, have come to embrace reckless proposals to politicize the very structure of the court itself. but justice ginsburg remainedbu unswerving in her public commitment to preserving the neutral foundation of the institution she loved. the entire senate is united in thinking of and praying for justice ginsburg's family, most especially her daughter, jane, her son, james, her grandchildren, step grandchildren, great granddaughter, and everyone who called her their own. mr. president, i ask consent that the following remarks appear at a different place in the record. >> without objection. >> president trump's nominee for
this vacancy will receive a vote on the floor of the senate. now already, some of the same individuals who tried every conceivable dirty trick to obstruct justice gorsuch and justice kavanaugh are lining upu to
proclaim the third time will be the charm. the american people are about to witness an astonishing parade of misrepresentations about the past, misstatements about the present, and more threats against our institutions from the same people, the same people who've already been saying for months, well before this, already been saying for months, they want to pack the court. two years ago, a radical movement tried to use unproven accusations to ruin a man's life because they could not win a vote fair and square.
now, they appear to be ready in even more appalling sequel. this time, the target will not just be the presumption of innocence for one american, but our very governing institutions themselves. there will be times in the
days ahead to discuss the naked t threats that leading democrats have long been directing at the united states senate and the supreme court itself. these threats have grown louder, but they predate this vacancy by many months. there'll be time to discuss why senators who appear on the steps of the supreme court and personally threatened associate justices if they do not rule a certain way or ill-equipped to give lectures on civics. but today, let's dispense with a few of the factual misrepresentations right at the outset.
we're already hearing it incorrect claims that there is not sufficient time to examine and confirm a nominee. we can debunk this myth in about 30 seconds. as of today, there are 43 days until november 3rd and 104 days until the end of this congress. the late iconic justice john paul stevens was confirmed by the senate 19 days after this body formally received his nominations. 19 days from start to finish. justice sandra day o'connor, another iconic jurist was confirmed. 33 days after her nomination. for the late justice ginsburg herself, it was just 42 days. justice stevens' entire confirmation process could have
been played out twice, twice between now and november 3rd with time to spare. and justice ginsburg herself could have been confirmed twice between now and the end of the year with time to spare. the senate has more than sufficient time to process the nomination. history and precedent make that perfectly clear.ha others want to claim this situation is exactly analogous to justice scalia's passing in 2016, and so we should not proceed until january. this is also completely false. here's what i said on the senate floor on the very first session the day after justice scalia passed, the senate has not filled a vacancy arising in an election year when there was a
divided government since 1888, almost 130 years ago. here's what i said the next day when i spoke to the press for the first time on the subject, you have to go back to 1888 when grover cleveland was president to find the last time a vacancye created in a presidential election year was approved by senate of a different party. p as of then, only six prior times in american history had a supreme court vacancy arisen in a presidential election year. and the president sent an nomination that year to the senate of the opposite party. the majority of those times, thj outcome was exactly what happened in 2016, no confirmation. the historically normal outcome when you have divided government. president obama was asking senate republicans an unusual favor that had last been granted
nearly 130 years before then. but voters had explicitly elected our majority to check and balance the end of his presidency, so we stuck with the basic norm. oh, and by the way, in so doing, our majority did precisely what democrats had indicated they would do themselves. in 1992, democrats controlled the senate opposite president bush 41. then senator joe biden, chaired the judiciary committee, unprompted, unprompted he publicly declared that his committed might refuse to cooperate if a vacancy arose and the republican president tried to fill it. in 2007, democrats controlled the senate opposite president00 bush 43. and with more than a year and a half left, a year and a half
left in president bush 43's term, the current democratic leader declared that, except in extraordinary circumstances the opposite party senate should boycott any furtherop confirmations to the supreme court. that the current democratic leader a year and a half before the end of the bush administration. so on 2016, senate republicans did not only maintain the historical norm, we also ran the biden- schumer playbook. when voters have not chosen divided government, when the american people have elected a senate majority to work closelyw with the sitting president, the historical record is even more overwhelmingly in favor of confirmation. eight times in our nation's history, new vacancies have
arisen and presidents have made nominations all during the election year. seven of the eight were confirmed and the sole exception, justice abe fortas was a bizarre situation, including obvious personal corruption that extended into financial dealings. apart from that one strange exception, no senate has failed to confirm a nominee in the circumstances that face us right now. aside from that one strange exception, no senate has failed to confirm a nominee in the circumstances that face us right now. the historical precedent is overwhelmingly and it runs in one direction. if our democratic colleagues want to claim they are outraged, they can only be outraged at the plain facts of american history.
there was clear precedent behind the predictable outcome that came out of 2016, and there is even more overwhelming precedent behind the fact that this senate will vote on this nomination this year. the american people reelected our majority in 2016. they strengthened it further in 2018 because we pledged to work with president trump on the most critical issues facing our country. the federal judiciary was right at the top of the list. ironically, it was the democratic leader who went out of his way to declare the midterm 2018 elections, a referendum on the senate's handling of the supreme court. my friend, the occupant of the chair was running that year. the democratic leader went out of his way to declare the 2018 midterms a referendum on the senate's handling of the supreme court.
in his final speech before justice kavanaugh was confirmed, he -- before justice kavanaugh was confirmed. he yelled, literally yelled over and over at the american people to go vote. he told americans go elect senators based on how they'd approach their advice and consent duties over these weeks. unfortunately, for him, many americans did just that. after watching the democrat's tactics, voters grew our majority and retired four, four of our former colleagues who'd gone along with their party's behavior. we gained two seats.vi they lost four. that was the issue. perhaps more than any other single issue, the american people strengthened this senate majority to keep confirming this
president's impressive judicial nominees who respect our constitution and understand the proper role of a judge. in 2014, the voters elected our majority because we pledged to check and balance a second lame duck president. two years later, we kept our word. in 2018, the voters grew that majority on our pledge to continue working with president trump, most especially on his outstanding judicial appointments. we're going to keep our wordtm once again. we're going to vote on this nomination, on this floor. >> now, mr.