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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 20, 2009 11:00am-11:30am EDT

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place his or her empathy above the law and the evidence. so with these fundamental questions to mind i hope that . . future, the judiciary, and what the role of a judge ought to be on our highest court. and to uphold our sacred charter of inalienable rights. let me repeat: i love the american legal system. i am so much an admirer of the federal legal system. i practiced in it for 15 years before fabulous judges. they were accused, sometimes of thinking they were anointed rather than appointed but i found most of the time, mr. president, and you are a prosecutor, they will forked the law and -- they will follow the
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law and they try to be fair and that is a factor that i will defend but there's a responsibility that comes with the independence that judges get. that responsibility is when they get that bench and they assume that power they not abuse it, they use integrity, they're objective and that they shall restrain. i thank the chair. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: mr. president, i've listened carefully to the statement of my colleague, senator sessions, from alabama, who is the ranking republican on the senate judiciary committee. he is charged with a special the senate judiciary committee. he is charged with a special responsibility at this moment in retirement of supreme court justice david souter and the vacancy that's been created, the senate judiciary committee has the responsibility to work with the president to fill that vacancy. i'm honored to be a member of that committee. and to be facing the third
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va it is rare in one's public political life to have a chance to voice the partial goal in the selection of one supreme court justice. to have the chance to be involved in three or larger is quite an amazing responsibility. we see the world somewhat differently. i would say to him that i would quarrel with the notion that our laws are so clear that a judge given a set of facts could only draw one conclusion. what we find often is well- trained attorneys who become judges can look at the same law and the same facts and reach
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different conclusions. that is why when it comes to appellate court that it is not unusual to have a split decision, because judges see facts in a different context. to argue that we want judges who will always reach the same conclusions from the same loss of tax is not -- facts is not. to happen . tofacts differently. -- is not going to happen. they view facts differently. some see a need for change in our country. sometimes i agree with that change and sometimes i disagree. it took a look at discos of america -- the public schools of america and said you cannot have
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separate been equal schools. the critics said the courts have gone to the far. they have no right to reach the conclusion. i disagree with those critics. some said they should of been strict construction. less schools as they were. those who have fallen to the so- called strict construction school came before the courts involved with the woman who worked at a car manufacturing plant in alabama if i am not mistaken.
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lilly rose through the management ranks and was very happy with the assignment she was given at this plant. she worked side-by-side with many male employees. it was not until she announced her retirement that one of her employer's came to her and said, for many years now, you have been paid less than the man you were working next to, even though you had the same job title in same job assignment. this company was paying less to women doing the same job as men. she thought that was unfair. she thought she should receive equal pay for equal work. she filed a lawsuit under federal law asking the she be compensated for this discrimination against her, the reduction in pay that she faced along with the retirement reduction in pay.
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her case made it all the way to the supreme court of the united states, the highest court in the land. they departed from all of the earlier cases which said something that i think was reasonable. they looked at the statute, the law the case was brought under and said that she has it -- she had a specific time to file a lawsuit. a ticket was six months. she had a six months after she discovered she was discriminated against to file a lawsuit. she said this is what she did. she filed within the statutory right aren't. the spring quarter across the streets reached a different
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conclusion. their conclusion was that the law did not mean that. the law meant that she had to file the lawsuit within six months after discrimination. the first time she was paid less than the man working next to her, she had to file within six months of that time. those of us who have worked outside the government, those working in the private sector note that it is a rare company that publishes the paychecks of every employee. you may be working next to someone for years and never know what they are being paid. that was the case with lily. she did not discover that until many years later. the supreme court said, unfortunately you did not file
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your case in time, we are throwing it out of court. and they did. they departed from the previous court's decision which had given her and people like her the right to recover and limit that right to recover. and her name, we change the law to make it clearer said that no supreme court in the future would have any doubt that it is six months after the discovery of the discrimination not after the first act of discrimination. it was one of the first will stick caught -- that president barack obama -- it was one of the first bills that president barack obama signed. lilly had the satisfaction to know that this congress and this president would not allow the injustice created by the supreme court decision to continue.
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some have said we do not need judges with empathy. if we told her, she missed it and she was out of luck, that is not a fair and just resort -- results. i want to know the particle decisions -- practical decisions that are made. i think empathy brings someone who is in touch with the world.
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the nominee of president barack obama for the supreme court, sonia sotomayor, broker ankle -- broke her ankle. many senators came into meter she says -- many senators came in to meet her. she has met with about 60 senators. she is doing her level best to introduce herself and answer any questions they may have. i told the president when i saw him that he has made an extraordinary choice. she was first selected to serve on the district court by president h. w. bush. she was promoted by president clinton to a higher court. now she is nominated for supreme
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court's service. she has more experience than any nomination 100 years for the federal bench. she has an extraordinary life story having grown up in the bronx in public housing. her father died when she was 9 years old. her mother raised her and her younger brother who ended up becoming a doctor. she was encouraged to apply to princeton, which was a world she knew nothing about as a young latina growing up in the bronx. she applied and successfully got in. she graduated second in her class in princeton. i do not believe that princeton university is an easy assignment. she went on to graduate from law school. she was involved in prostitution and working in the private law practice. she has an amazing background in the law. adding she would be an
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extraordinary member of the supreme court. senator sessions came earlier. at and i have any prepared remarks on these subjects. i hope we can serve our nation by giving her a fair and timely hearing. let us not use a double standard on this nominee. she should have a hearing of the same schedule of those who went before her. . if she is given the same standard of fairness, the hearing will go forward. i think she will do wherell. >> i think we should
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respectfully talk about the information. a separate and unequal is not a justification for a justice to set the policy. i would seek brown and versus biboard of education as a supree court saying the constitution of the united states guarantees every american eagle protection under the law. they found that in segregated schools, as some people were told they must go to this school because of their race, and some people must go to this school because of their race. it was not equal. there were several constitution issues there.
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i do not think that was an active policy making decision. these separate schools in which a person was mandated to go to one of the other based on their race violated the equal protection clause of the united states and they found it was not equal. with regard to lilly's case, my democratic colleagues have talked about this case a lot. i would just say that everybody knows it is a universal rule that whenever a wrong inflicted upon an individual, they have a certain time in which to file their claim. it is called the statute of limitations. evie do not file it in the time allowed by law, -- if you do
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not file it but the time allowed by law, you cannot fall that lawsuit. the u.s. supreme court heard the evidence -- this one lady, lilly took her case to the supreme court. they herded and concluded that she was aware of the unfair wage practice long before the statute of limitations. by the time she thought her complaint, it was too late. years after. they concluded that. the congress was unhappy about a and passed a law that unwisely metals the statute of place -- statute of limitations on these -- muddles the statute
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of limitations on these cases. it was a fact based analysis by the supreme court by which they concluded that she waited too long to bring the lawsuit and it was barred. congress, thinking that it was not good, passed a law to change the statute of limitations so that more people would be able to prevail. it is not wrong for the court to strike down bad law. we spoke with attorney general eric holder today. one department of justice had written an opinion that declared that the legislation that we passed to give the district of columbia a congressman was
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unconstitutional. i think that case is going up to the supreme court. it will likely to come back like a rubber ball off the wall. i do not think that is constitutional. i do not believe that activism on abuse of power is good. the court must rule in an objective, fair way. i think we will have a great discussion. i look forward to it. i really appreciate senator dick durbin. if i were in trouble, i like to
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have been defending me. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> up next on c-span, charles evans, president of the chicago federal reserve on the economy. then a senate hearing on rates for text messaging. and later a report on human trafficking. secretary clinton will give her remarks. >> tomorrow on "washington journal" and look at iran. former congressman tom davis talks about health care in republican politics. later, in the that the cover story on harper's magazine.
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that is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> how was c-span funded? >> through donations? >> through the federal government. >> grants. >> sponsors? >> they may get some government funding. >> viewers? >> helices been funded? 30 years ago, america's cable companies created he's been as a public service, a private business initiative. no government mandate or money. >> now charles evans, president of the chicago federal reserve speaks about the economy. mr. evans has been with the chicago fed since 1991 and became its president in september 2007. he spoke before the executive club of chicago for about 45 minutes.
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>> thank you very much for having me come and speak. ben bernanke was the commencement speaker at the boston college school of law and a few weeks ago. his message to the graduating class was simple. the flexible and open minded in dealing with the fact that life is unpredictable. as part of that speech, he quoted from the beatles, john lennon, like is what happens to you why you are busy making other plans. this morning i would like to quote the beatles as well. in regards to the current economy, i think it was paul mccartney who said yesterday all
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my troubles seemed so far away. now it looks like they are here to stay. [laughter] at our meetings, we get by with a little help from our friends. i am not aware of any secret messages embedded in fomc statement, but i have been told that some of our statements make more sense if you read them backwards. [laughter] i do not agree with that. now to a more serious subject. following the worst financial crisis in the past seven years, we are currently experiencing a recession that will likely match or surpass those of the 1970's or 1980's in depth and severity. the circumstances depots great challenges for policy makers. for us, the responses been to pursue a variety of aggressive and innovative approaches that differ significantly from the
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standard policies of the past. the programs that we have put in place were designed specifically for the circumstances. they will have to be ahmad as our financial system returns to normal and the economy is more clearly headed towards sustainable growth an. i will look at the the underlying precept of these policies. these are my own views and not necessarily those of my colleagues . this target cannot be reduced below zero even went further accommodations are warranted. the second limit of traditional policy has to do with the functioning of financial markets. under more normal circumstances, we of been taking
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a look at certain aspects which changes the federal funds rate which flows through to other interest rates through the entire range of risk structures. during the crisis, disparities in rates indicated that are in charge has not been taking place as usual. before our target was constrained by zero, we found that we cannot affect those interest rates that matter most consumers and businesses in order to stimulate aggregate de. discount window lending for which the federal reserve bank makes short-term loans make some decisions against adequate collateral. the fed has taken steps to encourage the use of the discount window as a source of
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liquidity, including lengthening the terms of the lo. -- of along. the third group of policies -- of the loan. this can be seen as a traditional extension of market operations. it goes on. there is a method to the man is.
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i will highlight three precepts that our thinking. the first is insurance. do not put all of your eggs in one acronym. the second is innovation. this is not your grandfather is a federal reserve. the third is size. in an environment of great uncertainty, make no little plans. i will discuss each of these in turn before concluding. on insurance, to understand the first precept, the diversity of risk that emerged in the past few years and the seed which it emerged must be understood. stable growth in price stability are some of the factors. diagnosing each risk raises difficult questions. we sought fairs in parts of the financial system. how serious they were and how they affected the rest of the
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economy. with some economic activity began to deteriorate significantly. prices declined for the first time in decades. when we slide into an extended period of deflation. the diagnosis was surrounded with much uncertainty in some dire scenarios. the remedies that we considered a brother on a measure of uncertainty as well. by definition, we have little experience with these policies. which treatment was appropriate and can be implemented in a timely fashion. particularly given the legal constraints we were facing. under what circumstances and for how long they should be used. how should the treatment the scaled-back and improved? the fed decided to adopt an approach that would be robust. during the small -- rather than a light on certain tools, we have put in place a number of
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different remedies in the hope that we may learn which ones work best without bruising bible time. i will not retrace the complete list of new programs. dianne that a good job with the time when. i have also forgotten some of those even. these programs have been covered extensively in other speeches. i will discuss one program because it demonstrates our second precept which is the need to innovate as quickly as circumstances change. we will take a look at the talf. the market for asset backed securities as played by a role. it shut down in october 2008 after the failure of lehman brothers. in response, the fed announced the form -- the formation of talf. with backing from the treasury,
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it provides loans to investors to make purchases of highly rated asset backed securities. the backing was from the treasury as part fun and was instrumental in our ability to do that. as conditions involved, we modified facilities. the first markets targeted by the facilities for those backed by relatively simple assets. the securities were familiar to market for disciplines and their pricing was relatively straightforward. they moved on to more complex instruments. the only eligible securities were those backed by newly and recently originated autocratic part in student loans. small-business loans guaranteed by the small business administration were also used. in april, other securities were made eligible.
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leases of business equipment and dealer inventories are examples. this eligibility was broadened to commercial mortgage-backed securities. we changed the acceptable origination date as well. securities were eligible only if they were backed by new or recently issued loans. the intent was to bring the asset backed market back to life by directly financing investors willing to purchase the securities and indirectly funding the loans. in march 2009, talf would be extended to legacy access. it would attempt to ease balance sheet pressures on lenders. the maximum maturity of talf loans has been expended -- extended to five years. the size of the total operation was increased from $200 billion to $1ri


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