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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 18, 2009 5:30am-6:00am EDT

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say that the eighth amendment, which outlawed inhumane activities, should be construed to limit the death penalty. this is judicial activism. they did not like the death penalty and they found this, and they try to make it say this. the question is not whether these policies are good or bad. this is a definition of opinion, how you believe global warming should be confronted, is not the question. this is if the court should set policy, on the matters before the country. we were debating this in the political arena. should this be the president and the congress, to openly debate
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these issues and expand this before the people, and be accountable. and i think that the constitution dictates that the latter is the appropriate way. a number of groups and activists believe that the court is their place, and the social goals and agendas, are not likely to be one at the ballot box. we have the ninth court of appeals saying that the pledge of allegiance is unconstitutional because of the words, under god. the action has never been reversed. this has been vacated because the supreme court rejected this, but these are the things that are out there.
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this is not in the constitution. if the judiciary goes further down that path, this is dangerous. we're actually weakening the constitution. how can we all will rule of law, if they have the power to change these one way or the other. how can we kirby excess of federal power when we let the courts go beyond the limits of their authority. how can the least of us depend on the law to deliver justice to protect them, to protect their liberty, if the rulings are no longer objective, and if a single judge can place his or her empathy of both a lot and
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the evidence? with these questions in mind, i hope that the comments i have made will be of some value, as we talk about the future of the judiciary and the role of a judge in the highest court, to help hold the charter of inalienable rights. i love the american legal system, i am an admirer of the federal legal system, i was practicing here for 15 years for fabulous judges, i found that most of the time, that they did follow the law. and they wanted to be fair. in the independence that we give them is a factor in something i will defend, but there is a
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responsibility that comes with the independence that a judge is given, when they assume that power, they should not abuse this, they shall restrain. i thank the gentleman. >> the senator from illinois. >> i have listened to the statements of my colleague, who is the ranking republican, with the special responsibility -- because with the retirement of david souter, and the vacancy that was created, the judiciary committee has the responsibility to work with the president. i am happy to be a member of the committee, facing the third vacancy since i have been elected to the united states
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senate. this is once in a political life to have a role in the selection of a supreme court justice, but to be involved in the selection of three of them, for a lawyer this is an amazing responsibility. we are friends, we see the world somewhat differently, but i would say to him that, i am not -- i did not say that the law is so clear that there could only be one conclusion. what we find is a well trained attorney, who can look at the same law, and reach different conclusions. when it comes to the appellate courts, it is not unusual to have a split decision, the
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french judges see this in a different context. to argue that we want a judge who will always reach the same conclusion, defies human experience. people read words differently, and they view a fact differently. occasionally, judges, faced with cases they had not envisioned, see a need for change in the country. there are times when i may agree with this, and disagree. in 1954 in the supreme court, there was a decision reached in brown vs. board of education. they were looking at the public schools of america, that were segregated, and they said, you cannot have separate and equal schools. and this brought about a dramatic change in america.
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the critics said that the supreme court had gone too far and had no right to reach that conclusion. some of them said they should have left the schools as they were. and it was not their right to change the public school system. i think that they did the right thing. there are times when the supreme court has reached a decision i disagree with. most recently, the current court, people who are in the strict construction school, had a case involving a woman, working at a tire manufacturing plant in alabama, who spent a lifetime working there, she rose through the management ranks, and was very happy with the
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assignment that she was given, working shoulder to shoulder with many male employees. it was not until she announced her retirement, when one of the employees said that she had been paid less even though she had the same job title. this company was paying less to the women doing the same job as men. she thought that was unfair. that she would -- she thought she would receive equal payment for equal work. she asked to be compensated for the discrimination against her, the reduction in pay that she had faced. this was a well-known law that she filed the case under, giving each american the right to allege discrimination in the workplace.
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this went all the way to the supreme court of the united states. the conservative court departed from the earlier cases, the earlier case had said something that was reasonable, they look at the statute, and they said that she had a specific amount of time after she discovered the discrimination to file a lawsuit. i believe this was six months. she had six months after she discovered she was discriminated against to file the lawsuit. she said this is exactly what she did. she filed this in the statutory requirement. but the supreme court reached a different conclusion, the conclusion was that the law did
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not mean this, that she had to file the lawsuit after the first act of discrimination. the first time that she was paid less, the clock was running and she had six months to file a lawsuit. those of us who have worked outside of government, those working in the private sector, know that this is a rare company that publishes the paychecks of every employee. you may never know what the person next to you is being paid. she did not know the man next to her was being paid differently. the supreme court said, you did not file your case in time. strict constructionist, departing from the previous
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court's decisions, which had given her and people like her the right to recover, and it limited that right. in the name of lou ledbetter, we made this abundantly clear, that six months after the discovery of discrimination -- not after the first act of discrimination. this was the first bill that obama signed, i was there at the signing ceremony, and standing next to him was ledbetter. she did not win on the supreme court, and she was not given the compensation, but she had the satisfaction to know that this congress and its president and not allow the injustice of the supreme court decision to continue. the senator from alabama says that we do not need a judge with empathy.
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this has been stretched in different directions. if this does not mean that we need a judge who understands the reality of the workplace, and we tell her that she has six months to file the lawsuit, if empathy would say, that is not a fair or just a result, i want to have a judge with empathy, who knows the practical impact of the decisions that they make, and i want for them to be fair. i do not want them to be so far above the will world that they could not see justice if it bit them. we need someone in touch with this real world. for the last few weeks, the nominee of barack obama, sonia sotomayor, has been meeting with
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members of the united states senate, she had a mishap and broke her ankle. i was allowing her to use my conference room, with centers coming in to meet her. she says she has six more, she may break a record with meeting face-to-face with more of them. she is doing her best to answer any questions that they have. i told the president he has made an extraordinary choice. sonia sotomayor was elected to serve in court by president george herbert walker bush and was promoted by bill clinton to a higher court, and now she has been nominated for supreme court service. she has more experience than any nominee in 100 years.
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she will not be a neophyte. she grew up in the bronx, her father died when she was 9 years old and her mother raised her younger brother, who became a doctor. she was encouraged to apply to princeton, a world that she knew nothing about but she applied and she was an accepted. she graduated second in her class, and i do not think that princeton university is an easy assignment. she went on to graduate from yale, she was involved in prosecution, and private law practice. she has an amazing background. i think that she will be an extraordinary member of the supreme court. jeff sessions talked about his
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philosophy, i had no prepared remarks, i disagree with him but i respect him very much. i hope that we can serve the nation by giving her a fair hearing. we should not use a double standard on the nominee. the chairman has suggested a timely hearing, within the same schedule of those who went before, like chief justice roberts or alito. if she is given the same -- the same standard of fairness, i think that she will do well. >> i will say to my colleague, a great lawyer and excellent senator, i think, i would respectfully talk about the ideas that he suggests. he spoke about brown vs. board of education, where the supreme
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court said that separate was not equal, and some say this is a justification -- justification for a judge setting policy. i would see this differently, i would see this as the supreme court saying that the constitution of the united states guarantees every american equal protection of the law, and they found that in segregated schools, some people were told that they must go to school because of their race. there were several constitutional issues there, i do not think that was an activist policy-making decision. i think the supreme court
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correctly concluded that these schools, in which a person was mandated to go to one or the other based upon their race, violated the equal protection clause of the united states, and they also found that this was not equal. and with regard to the ledbetter case, centered urban -- senator durbin spoke about this. i would say that everyone knows this is a universal rule, that when a law is inflicted, they have a certain time in which to file their claim. this is the statute of limitations. if you do not file this, you are barred from filing the lawsuit.
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the u.s. supreme court heard the evidence, that was argued in the supreme court, she took her case all the way to the supreme court, they concluded that she was aware of the unfair wage practices, long before the statute of limitations -- and by the time she filed the complaint, this was too late and one witness was dead. so years after, they concluded that. the congress, was unhappy about this, passed a law that i think models the statute of limitations on these kinds of cases dramatically, but it would give her a chance to be successful or another person to be successful. this was not a conservative
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activist decision, this was an analysis by the supreme court, they concluded that she was waiting too long to bring the lawsuit. congress, thinking that was not good, passed a law to change the statute of limitations so more people could prevail. this is not wrong for the court to strike down that law, we just had something to do with the attorney general, holder, or the office of legal counsel wrote an opinion that he kept down, declaring that the legislation that we passed to give the district of columbia the united states congressman, was unconstitutional. he did not want that out,
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because they supported a congressperson from the district of columbia. i believe that this will come back. i do not think that was constitutional or if that is activism, this is just a reading of the constitution. and if congress passes a law in violation, this should be struck down. if the court is doing this in an objective way, not allowing their personal emotions, so i think that we will have a great discussion, about the supreme court and the federal court, and i look forward to this. i appreciate sen. durbin. if i was in trouble i would like to have him defending me, i yield the floor.
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>> in a few moments, a state department of day on the situation in the sudan. in 20 minutes, obama announces changes to the financial regulatory system, and then secretary of state hillary clinton will meet with the israeli foreign minister. >> on washington journal this morning, we will discuss the situation in iran with a visiting scholar at johns hopkins university. you will hear reactions to obama and his plan from the house financial services committee. and we will be joined by george will. washington journalists live every day at 7:30 eastern.
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the senate health committee continues work on health-care legislation. live coverage on c-span 3. >> every weekend, "book tv" has the latest offers on c-span2. it on "afterwords," eduardo galeano talks about the history of the world, and he talks with the columbia university professor, this is sunday night at 9:00 eastern. books on the economy as john talbot exposes myths about the less session -- about the recession and what it will take to recover. and then offered talking about how he believes capitalism is the best way to heal the
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environment. and overheating, how americans can control their eating habits. there are more books and authors on "book tv." the website has the schedule and streaming video, and archives, simple ways to this -- to share your favorite programs. >> the state department special envoy to the sedan said that they are no longer conducting a coordinated genocide. he made the statement at this news briefing, this is 20 minutes. >> good morning. we're very pleased to have scott grisham, -- graiton. he grew up in the republic of
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the condo. -- congo. in 1995 he was part of the operations group in saudi arabia, he oversaw the operation with the no-fly zone over iraq, and among his assignments in 2000 and 2001, he was the deputy director of operations in washington and was the director of strategy planning, the policy director of the united states european command. he speaks swahili and has a master's from rutgers, and georgetown. he was appointed as the special envoy to the sudan on march 18,
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2009. we're very happy to have him here today. >> thank you for that kind introduction. i appreciate the opportunity to share some of the things that i have learned since becoming the special envoy. i will give you an idea of what we plan to do in the next few months. since the 18th of march i have made three trips overseas, and the first was to the sudan, darfur, nand the second was to doha and cairo. the last trip was to london and paris and beijing. i have learned that we need to have constructive dialogue with the international community, with all of the parties in the
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sudan. we have to do this to save lives, to bring about a lasting peace, more suffering is simply unacceptable. we need to have engagement in r four, to fully implement the comprehensive peace agreement. this is not only about discussions, this is about making a difference. this is about getting results. the efforts to build multiple channels of dialogue has produced positive results. we have worked with the united nations to restore humanitarian assistance in darfur. the united nations and others have been able to increase their capacity, and we have closed the gap, that existed when they were
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expelled. the situation remains fragile, and the short-term gains still need to be strengthened. a constructive dialogue will also help us to negotiate a cease-fire, so the people living in these camps, the refugee camps, can move back to a place of their own choosing, to live in safety and security. disengagement is also helping us in the second round of the talks, this is designed for a political settlement. this is designed to improve relations, to stop the fighting and the violence that has been so disruptive. this will be critical as we implement all the parts of the comprehensive peace agreement.
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before the referendum for self- determination is held, we have a lot of work to do. we have to secure this on the power sharing, to make certain that all the parties are involved, to make certain that they do not become the same war zone. we need the support of the international community. we must broaden the international coordination, and one of initiative is the form for the supporters, this will be held on the 23rd. they will bring together over 30 countries to help restore the international commitment, to rekindle the passion that we have in 2005 when this was signed. before i take your questions,
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let me tell you about the time limit that we have to work with. we have eight months to get ready for the national elections, with 19 months before the referendum that will determine the future of the southern sudan. it is absolutely critical that we work together, to seize every opportunity to save lives and facilitate a lasting peace, to promote stability and security in the entire region. i am ready for your questions. >> i am with abc news. president bush and his top officials always talk about darfur as a genocide. would you describe the situation right now as a genocide? >> what we see is the remnants of genocide. we see the consequences


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