tv Washington Journal Sen. Mike Lee CSPAN June 9, 2022 9:01pm-9:31pm EDT
and statements from foreign leaders. all on the c-span networks. the c-span now free mobile lab and c-span.org/ukraine. the resource page where you can watch the latest videos on demand and follow tweets from journalists on the ground. go to c-span.org/ukraine. as we move deeper into the season with the eyes of america turned to the supreme court rulings we are joined by mike lee, senate judiciary committee. veteran now f4 supreme court confirmations and now the author of the book, saving nine come out this week. the fight against the last cell visions plan to pack the supreme
court and destroy american liberty. before we get to savings nine, senator, i did want to get your reactionma to the man arrested outside of brett cavanaugh's house yesterday. he had a knife on him and a gun. your reaction to that incident. >> it's tragic that he was there. there were real problems with showing up at the home of a supreme court justice to protest what you anticipate might be the outcome of a case to try to influence the outcome of a case. in this particular instance, he appears to have been showing up to influence the outcome of the case in a way that is unthinkably bad.
curator showing up to protest at the home of a supreme court justice is itself a criminal offense. doing so with a weapon and equipment to break into his home to carry out an execution is just unthinkably bad. so i hope and expect to hear condemnation from republicans and democrats alike from the white house and president of the united states himself. people showing up at the supreme court justices homes. >> host: is there a similar code as it relates to members of congress if there is a law that is being voted on is it illegal to go to a member's house or stand on the sidewalk outside of their house and protest? >> to my knowledge there is not a federal law that is similar to 1507 with respect to the members of congress. when you show up to the home of
a public official to try to influence the public visually and protest. to protest at the home of a private person because that private person is a public official, youu are sending onef the signal regardless of what else you are saying you're saying we know where you sleep. that is a threat of physical violence and in this day and age i think there is a time, place and manner and at the place for
protesting ought not to be where someone sleeps. >> host: on the saving nine a, why is nine the magic number for the report? >> guest: as i explained to him there's nothing magical about the number nine. if there is nothing mandated by the constitution about the number nine. yet that's the number that we arrived at by 1869. this number jumped around. it was five for a while, six for a while, back to five, went up to seven, got up to eight, got up as high as ten and since 1869 the number has been added nine and since that point we realized as a country it is probably better not to overly politicize the supreme court, which is inevitably what happens when you start tinkering with of the numbers. i think it would have been better if they had put that in the constitution. i would support the constitutional amendment changing. it. but one of these instances where it'ss not unconstitutional to increase the size of the supreme court but it is fundamentally and severely anti-constitutional, it would be destabilizing to the independence of the federal judiciary and if it is also strongly about as i wrote a book about it. >> host: on the other side of the oil they called to expand the court and one of those, senator elizabeth warren, democrat from massachusetts.
this is her youtube video with her arguments. about a minute long. >> republicans steal power to ram through an extremist unpopular agenda. basic protections like roe v wade supported by 70% of americans are hanging by a thread. and that is just the tip of the iceberg. this court opened the floodgates for corporations to spend unlimited sums of money to buy our elections. it decided with big businesses. it upheld a racist muslim man and gutted one of the most important civil rights laws in our time, the voting rights act. this is not a court that represents the will of the people. we cannot take this lying down. thewn only real solution now iso expand the supreme court. the constitution gives congress the authority to change the size
of the supreme courty and congress has used that authority seven times before. expansion is actually the only way to rebalance the court after republicans stole two seats and undermined the legitimacy of the court. >> host: part of a video she put out at the end of last year. your response? >> guest: there's a lot of errors in that statement as she refers to the republicans having stolen power. and she said the words stole were steel twice. not sure what she's referring to. there's nothing about the manner in which the republican nominees to the court stole anything or the republican senate stole anything by confirming donald trump's nominees to the supreme court.em she may not like that it
happened that way. she might not like the republicans held the majority in 2016 when republicans chose not to confirm garland to the supreme court and she might not like the fact that republicans confirmed amy coney barrett in 2020. and of those were all legitimate exercises of power. there's nothing about that that was stolen. it's significant that she denigrates, delegitimize is and tries to cast aspersions at the supreme court itself. i think that is particularly dangerous. she's talking about the supreme court as if it were a political institution. this is very much like a political attack and which of course it is, and it's important to remember the supreme court is not a political body. i spent the entirety of chapter one of saving nine explaining what the supreme court is and
just as importantly, what it is not. and it's not fair to decide cases according to popular will. it has one job, to interpret the law in order to resolve disputes over the meaning of the law. so everything in the statement that she play it is something that i vehemently respectively, but very vehemently disagree with. and i think it's counterproductive and even dangerous to speak at the supreme court in these terms. throughout my entire life, i've tried to remember that we have a duty of respect to the independence of the judiciary even when we disagree with it. the supreme court in the united states is the greatest institution of its kind u anywhe in the world. and i say that as one who strongly disagrees with its rulings, but it's not a bad entity that sometimes makes these decisions. it's a remarkable institution
that is being run by mortals who rare fallible, sometimes makes mistakes and it's important to differentiate the two. >> host: the book came out on tuesday by senator mike lee of utah with us to talk about it. lines are open. republicans 202-748-8001, democrats, 202-748-8000. independent, 202-748-8002 as the calls are filling up the lines, a question on your expectations of what happens when these negotiations on new gun laws in the country. >> not sure. it's difficult to know what will be produced but i will say this. every time there is a mass shooting in this country, many laws have been violated in some casesf dozens. i think it is an unwise thing and potentially fraught with peril if when dozens of laws have been violated, we rapidly
conclude what is needed and what. it the next time around is yet another law. the government exists for the purpose of exerting force and you don't want to punish the law-abiding for the crimes of those who are bent on lawless behavior and it's also important that we look both long-term and short-term withheld to respond to it. in the long term, i think we've got to look at the isolation and the despair that's caused a lot in specially younger men to react with such horrible violent behavior and why it is that the social isolation and the dk of their social connections, whether it's through their families, their neighborhoods, communities, whether it's through faith groups or whatever they are becoming isolated. we've got to look at that. and i think it is helpful to
look at patterns that we see developing with these events. very often these younger men have posted things on social media signaling what they want to do. very often they appear to be craving attention, notoriety. they even know they might well die in the event or intend to do so. social media companies can somehow discern what kind of toothbrush someone is going to buy and when they are going to buy it before they are even thinking about a toothbrush. so, when someone posts things often outlining their plans, sometimes detailed plans for what they want to do, it might be something along the lines of expressing admiration.
>> host: akron ohio independent, you are on with senator mike lee. >> caller: never be fine with eight. we had a two for one full year after scalia. passed away. why is it that happened in february and yet years later he is nominated once, may you know what the solution is, july 1st, august 1st of the presidentialau year and if they died before that time or retired before that time, no one in office gets to make the choice. if it's after that date we wait tiller after the election. 8 is wrong for one full year -- >> host: got your point. senator.
>> guest: you raised some interesting points. i don' agree with your assessment that the answer has to be forcing the senate to confirm anyone. the point is that the vacancy, yes occurred in february. but we have to remember that under our constitutional system, the president nominates and the senate confirms. we had a senate in power that chose not to confirm garland. it was president obama's nominee. that is the prerogative of the uniteded states senate to confim or not to confirm. and so i don't believe that that's something the law can or should compel a senate that he doesn't want to confirm a particular nominee. it has no obligation to do so. >> host: this is kathy. good morning. republican. >> caller: good morning.
hi, senator lee. >> guest: hello. >> caller: to take back the house and the senate, we need to take it back and get something done. the democrats are destroying it. joe biden, they did stole the election. like that movie 2,000 mules. [inaudible] people need to see it. he's an illegitimate president and it's too bad they can't go in and get him out of the white house. >> guest: kathy, thanks for your call. i have grave concerns with what president biden is doing. president biden has made so many things worse for the american people. in utah the average family is spending $751 a month, every
month, an increase monthly household expenses just relative to what they were spending at the beginning of last year. this is a predictable and foreseeable result of failed policies that president biden continues unapologetically forcing upon the american people. this isn't good for them. it's caused rampant inflation and he's making it worse. the fact american moms and dads can't even get baby formula. it's interesting, there's no baby formula shortage in canada, mexico. for that matter, anywhere in latin america or the caribbean's. there is no shortage of baby formula in asia or europe. it's only right here in the united states that there is a baby formula shortage. that is the case because this is not a natural shortage.
there's no inability on the part of the u.s. economy to produce baby formula. this is entirely of government creation. that's why i've introduced a bill called the formula act that would remedy this problem and it would do so by fixing three problems in particular that the federal government has created. number one would put in place protectionist trade barriers on the importation of baby formula that could be imported from countries with regulatory systems that are astringent if not more so than ours. problem number two, we've got label requirements that even if they could be imported lawfully and effectively, the labeling requirements to inhibit the sale of for example certain european formulas. in fact would otherwise be lawful for sale here but for minor differences in the way those things are labeled.
problem number three is the fact of the wic program that is use vouchers and those vouchers contain unbelievably unnecessarily specific oulimitations on what kind of formula the voucher can be used for. and if the particular formula described with specificity on the voucher isn't available, then the parents are out of luck. my act would fix this problem and suspend all of those limitations for six months and would bring americans eerie quick and effective relief from the formula crisis. so, anyway. you are right to be concerned about president biden's failed policies. these are some of the reasons i predict and i hope and pray that republicans will a squeeze throh these elections and gain healthy majorities in the house and the senate this fall. >> host: to use the term president biden four times would
you agree with the assessment that she's an illegitimate president? >> guest: he's the president of the united states and he was elected. i was there when the electoral votes were opened and counted. of the election that matters and that determines the outcome of the presidency is the electoral college. now i didn't see the movie 2,000 mules. that movie does raise significant questions as to what might have happened in that election and they are questions that need to ben answered and i would love to get the president's response to it and responds into explanation for why certain things happened. but it's important to point out there is a difference between the possibility that some cheating may have occurred and whether or notur he is the legitimate president. the president of the united states is chosen by the electoral college. theto opening at the counting of theou electoral college votes resulted in a clear victory for joe biden. but that doesn't mean bad things
didn't happen along the way that he is the president. >> host: democrat, good morning. >> caller: good morning, senator. i am a longtime listener veteran and have a couple of things especially with what you said. first of all i have lost confidence in the supreme court and you are correct i believe nine is fine but the fact that anyone sitting on the supreme court, i don't care who put them there has them there with less than 60 votes. you get the worst end of either side putting someone on that court and that's the problem i had. when you get 60 votes there is a compromise to at least get to someone in there that is conservative or liberal or moderate that looks at things
other than from the far end of the worst side and that's where i lost confidence. and you also said earlier, you didn't give the nominee a vote. that's your choice. when you don't give a vote, then to try to move forward on that the seat was held. >> host: let's get a chance to respond. >> guest: thanks for calling in and agreeing with the conclusion i make in my book saving nine that nine justices is the appropriate number. as to your point about the 60 votete threshold, being required for presidential nominees, the way it was in the senate all presidential nominees were required to have a 60 vote
cloture standard. a simple passage in the senate takes a simple majority. but to get to the simple passage you have to bring to the debate a close and to bring the debate to a close takes 60 votes and all presidential nominees were subject to that standard up until november of 2013 when harry reid and the democratic majority at the time, i was in the senate at the time that happened. they nuked the filibuster in that area. although he claimed the desire to not have that to spread spred elsewhere everyone understood at the time that once you nuke the filibuster as to presidential nominees, there is no principled distinction for differentiating between supreme court and other nominees. so that's changed. that's the kind of change that doesn't just get undone or ignored. for not holding a vote on merrick garland, the senate's
job is to review and decide whetherr to confirm. we decided not to confirm. it seems immaterial to me whether we do so by a vote or whether we do so by declining to schedule a vote. at that decision was made by the senate republican leadership at the time to be for the latter strategy which wasn't to put them through the laborious and pointless exercise. do you think we are going to see confirmation both where the justice gets 60 or more votes, the four that you've been a part of and all of the eventual justices receive less than 55 votesce in the final vote? >> the short answer to the question is no, i don't think so. not in the foreseeable future.
for the reasons i described in chapter one of saving nine, we should interview the supreme court of the united states as a political body. it's tragic that it's gotten to this point, but it's gotten to this point because the court has tried to wander into the political figure. there is no better example of this than roe v wade himself regardless how one feels about abortion, religiously, morally or as a matter of public policy there is no grounding in the constitution for roe v wade. it was a sheer political power grab byt seven out of nine supreme court justices in 1973. and i say that as one that has great respect for the court and institutions. it was dead wrong in that instance. judicial activism doesn't always occur in the form of liberals
claiming liberal policy. in 1905 there was a very prominent casene called lochner versus new york which five supreme court justices in a 5-4 ruling seized the power by invalidating a minimum wage maximum hour law passed by the state of new york applicable to employees andte rooted it in the constitution not coincidentally using the same basic document thatic was later used in 1973 to bring the abortion issue beyond the political debate. it took the supreme court 32 years to undo that a bad president resulting from conservative judicial activism. in fact i talked about this at some length in chapter three of saving nine. it's wrong when conservatives do it and liberals do it, but when we politicize when the supreme
court justices decide to take political matters and resulted themlv in the court on the basis that are not constitutional or directed by federal statute, we produce things, a situation which no nominee is likely to get 60 votes. >> host: this is kyle in truth or consequences, republican. goodm morning. >> caller: good morning, senator lee and c-span, the audience. i appreciate you. we are running short on time. 1905 supreme court justice louis brandy, senator lee is going to correct me on this. i only bring it up because he broughtth up 1905. but i got to paying attention to this because of the vaccine mandate sand so i was all about the movement, the antitrust movement. amy klobuchar, mike lee. you guys are huge forces in
this. iuy am a big fan of the whole tm and melina. it's great. however, i was thinking 30 years later it's forced sterilizations under the same promise. i love the spirit of mike lee, senator, i really do. my question is how much does bureaucracy get in the way he ?the number nine, seven, 12. what does it matter if we are not acting out of good faith? >> host: i will give you a final. >> guest: the number of justices on the supreme court as i explain in saving nine does matter. it matters because what we found is that whenever the congress starts tinkering with the size of the court and does so for
political reasons, it ends up interfering with of the ability of the court to be an arbiter, a neutral arbiter of what the law says. the minute we lose that, the structure of the constitution starts to give way but the last timewa this was attempted was 1937. as i described in chapters four and five of saving nine. frank president franklin roosevelt also a democrat of course and also sort of the hero and the idol of our current president got tired of the supreme court disagreeing with him like in a lot of the laws that were being passed in support of the new deal were unconstitutional. they get tired of that and he tried to threaten them and delegitimize and isolate and demean them and he did so by pushing in congress a bill that would have given the power to expand the court to as many as 15 justices. that proposal failed legislatively, but it got to the supreme court to sufficiently scare divided convinced one a
supreme court justice, associate justice roberts as i explained in chapter five to flip his vote in an important case. you can read all about it in chapter five but that case for the reasons i explained in the book ended up influencing the way we do business in the government ever since then and not in a good way. it has a lot to do with why we are 31 trillion in debt with most of our laws put in place not by elected lawmakers but unaccountable bureaucrats with why the american economy struggles under the load of $2 trillion of annual regulatory compliance costs and many americans work to pay their federal taxes. that is what happened the last time somebody tried to pack the court. we can't let that happen again. >> host: the book saving nine, the author of the utah republican senator mike lee. appreciate your time. come back again. >> humanitarian response efforts in ukraine is the subject of a