tv [untitled] CSPAN June 24, 2009 5:30am-6:00am EDT
president bill clinton nominated her and the senate confirmed her to be on the second circuit court of appeals that covers my home state of vermont. she actually -- you may be interested in knowing this. she has the most federal court experience of any supreme court nominee during the past 100 years. she is a remarkable person. she is the first nominee in more than 50 years to serve as a federal trial judge and then as a federal aplenty judge at the -- appellant judge at the time of her nomination. in fact, with judge suiter's retirement she is going to be the only member to serve -- judge souter's retirement the only member to serve as a trial
judge. most of the cases that go up to the appellate courts come from the trial level and there are ghess a trial court of the other eight members of the supreme court none of them have served as a trial judge. she will have. she served there with great distinction. now, with all this, it is remarkable that you have some special interest groups, most on the far right, who have opposed her nomination. i remember the fundraising orders that have gone out to oppose her and i think it is unfortunate that these pressure groups, these right wing pressure groups, have gotten some republicans here in the senate to oppose her confirmation before they have
even had a hearing. now, some might say they are prepared to pose -- oppose any nomination president obama might make. president obama's nomination of judge sonia sotomayor before the supreme court, before she has even had her hearing, senate republican leader on the judiciary committee, the head of the national republican's editorial committee, have all taken a turn. don't let us have the hearing. don't let us hear the facts. don't let her speak. keep her quiet. don't have a hearing. but we're all against her. come on, mr. president. that is not the american way. and actually my initial reaction there, it demonstrated why we should have a hearing as soon as
possible. don't delay it. let her respond. let her speak for herself because so far they are the ones trying to speak for her and when they do, they say we're open-minded and fair-minded but we're going to vote against her. well, in fairness, she will delay her tounts respond and answer their charges. as i said when i set the hearing date after consulting with the ranking republican i wanted that date to be fair and adequate. fair to the nominee and adequate to allow senators to prepare. we need to give her the earliest possible opportunity to answer. we have leaders of the republican party go on television almost immediately after she is nominated and one of them calling her the equivalent of the head of the ku
klux klan. one of them calling her a bigot. come on. let's let her be heard. in preparedness, those republican critics were prepared -- they were not prepared to air their grievances and concerns and to discuss her record and to say why they are against her. three weeks before even having the hearing. apparently they don't need any more time to prepare. so one would assume they are prepared to -- for a hearing that is not going to be until next month. the middle of next month. now, i would say both the senator from vermont and the senate judiciary committee i don't agree with their ackizeation -- with their characterization or with their mischaracterization of her manner of judging.
judge sotomayor's approach to the law should be clear to all. after a 17-year record of fairly applying the law on the federal bench. i would ask judge sotomayor about her approach to judging, she told anyway of course, one's life experiences shape who you are. it does for all 100 members of this body. she went on to say this. ultimately, and completely. she used those words, as a judge, you have to follow the plaw. there is not one law from one race or another. there is not one law from one color or another. there is not one law from rich, the different one for the poor. there is not one law for one religion and a different one for another. there is only one law and n our country. she said ultimately and completely, a judge has to
follow the law no matter what his or her upbringing has been. now that's a kind of fair and impartial judging the american people expect. it is the kind of fair and impartial judging the american people deserve. that is respect for the rule of law and that's the kind of judge she has been. as i sat in here when first she was nominated as a distribute judge and then as circuit could you tell of appeals judge, i watched her record. i know that judge sotomayor is a restrained and thoughtful judge. she understands her role of a judge. her record is one of restraint. in fact, the cases her critics chose to highlight are cases where she showed restraint and
followed the law. i wish republican senators would pay less attention to the special interest groups and the pressure groups and the agitators from the far right. i wish they would take a view of a handful of judges in her cases to -- as an activist consider her record fairly. she has been a judge that a very conservative republican, kenest star has endorsed. the other judges -- kenest star has endorsed. i'm a member of the of a bar on the second circuit. under the second circuit, i know the other judges of the second circuit think the world of her and i've been here for
nomination of practically all of them. they have great respect for her judgment and judging. she is a nominee in which all americans can take pride and have confidence. she has been a judge for all americans. more importantly, she will be a justice of the supreme court for all americans. and i'm sorry some critics are painting a characterture of her as mischaracterizing her involvement william a mainstream civil rights organization. what about her involvement with puerto rican legal defense and education fund as they pulled back the mischaracterization made on the floor of this senate? well, the -- the puerto rican legal defense education fund, she served there from 1980 until her resignation in 1992.
i hope the press will look at what this is. it is one of the mischaracterizations on the other side. this is a respected organization. it was founded in the early 1970's with the support of republican senator jacob javis. i served with him from new york. former attorney nicholas caserbach. former attorney general robert abrams and the lemmedry dean of prosecutors in this country, -- legendary dean of prosecutors in this country, robert morganthal. he was judge sotomayor's boss after she graduated. borrow morganthal, the only time i can remember him doing something like this.
hero an op-ed piece supporting her. in the new york types. -- new york times. the submission to develop a more equitable society by creating opportunities for latinos in areas where they are traditionally underrepresented. their financial support comes from widely regarded foundations like ford and carnegie and corporate contributions from mainstream businesses like time warner. these are not radical foundations or corporations. some of the people that have been there, other past directors. judge jose cabriana, united states is court of appeals for the second circuit. former congressman, now a senior
fellow at the manhattan institute. former governor of new york, hugh kerry. we all know about this part of her life because she very proudly disclosed her board membership and stats as an officer and response to the judiciary committee questionnaire that senator sessions and i sent her. we know about it because she not only viewed her own records to provide time at the prldf but she also went above and beyond what it called for. she asked them to go and conduct and search its own records and she has come up with other materials. she didn't need to. she has now provided the committee with that. the record is transparent. we already have a more complete
record of judge sotomayor's -- a more and clear -- let me say that again. we have a more and complete picture of judge sotomayor's record than we ever have in the record of the last two nominees of the supreme court. chief justice john roberts or justice samuel alito. i mentioned chief justice roberts and justice sam alito who did not give us anywhere near as clear or complete a record but i don't recall a single republican saying we did not have a complete record before we considered their nominations. their nominations were by a republican president, for those two men, their nomination was by a republican president. those two men for the supreme court. this woman is nominated by a
democratic president, even though she has given a more complete record, somehow that's not enough. it was more than enough the two men nominated by a republican president, not enough for this woman nominated by a democratic president. we have judge sotomayor's record for the federal bench. it is a public record we had even before she was designated by the president. as i said, we had her record from when she was first nominated to the federal bench by president george h.w. bush. we have her record when after she became a member of the federal court of appeals nominated by president bill clinton and that record is a mainstream record of judicial restraint and modesty, the best
indication of her judicial philosophy. we don't have to imagine what kind of judge she will become. because we have seen what kind of judge she has been. actually, this is a case where the week before shows us what will come after. mr. president, i've been here 35 years and had the privilege of voting on every member of the current supreme court. i also voted on chief justice rehnquist or for chief justice and sandra day o'connor for associate justice and i had one rule on every single one of those. i would make up my mind based on the record. based on the cases i read. based on what i saw and heard from the nominee and refused to meet with the special interest
groups of either the right or the left. i would urge senators, we get well paid. we have great staffs. why don't we forget the -- either the right wing or the left wing groups. forget those who want to raise money and for their own interests based on who a nominee is and represent the country and make up our own minds. don't make up our own minds based on somebody having a fundraiser, make our our own mind based on what we see here. you know, it is a pretty awesome responsibility when a justice of the supreme court is nominated. most justices will serve long after the president who nominated them has gone. long after most of the senators who vote on them that nominee is gone. we have 300 million americans.
there are only 101 americans who get a direct say on who is going to be on the supreme court. first and foremost, the president of the united states when he makes the nomination to the supreme court. and then the 100 united states senators who either vote yes or vote no. so let's stop delegate our work to special interest groups. let's dell great our work to ourselves. let's do what we're paid to do. let's do what we have been elected to do. i know during the break we have july 4. i canceled practically everything on my schedule just to work and go through this record. i recommend other senators do the same. we'll have a fair and open hearing. the current presiding officers and the distinguished member of
the judiciary committee. i know he'll ask clear and tough questions as we all will. when that is over, vote for her or vote against her. forget these things that are beneath the dignity of the united states senate and certainly besmirch the reputation of a wonderful person by judge sotomayor. we've heard all the charges against her. mr. ppt, i'm glad you and other members of the connecticut will be there next month when we hear from her. >> there is still time to get your copy of c-span's 2009 congressional directory with information on house and senate members, the cabinet, supreme court justices and the nation's governors, plus distribute maps and how to contact committees and caucuses. it is $16.95 online at c-span.org/products.
>> in a few moments, republican house members on their plans for health care legislation. in about 15 minutes, president obama's news conference at the white house yesterday. on "washington journal" tomorrow morning, we'll talk with scott wilson, white house correspondent for the white house post. two members of the armed services committee will look at defense and instantaneously security issues. our guests are todd akin and mark begich and we'll discuss the economy with the economics reporter for the "wall street journal."
also on washington journal this week, tom ridge, former secretary of homeland security. he'll take your questions on thursday at 9:00 a.m. eastern. >> the senate health committee continues to mark up a health care bill this morning with senator chris dod acting as chairman. he is sitting in for senator kennedy who is being treated for cancer. >> july 4 weekend on book tv, discover an unfamiliar side of our nation's first president as we're live from george washington's mount vernon estate with historian and author john ferling. join our three-hour conversation sunday july 5 live on "in depth" on c-span 2's book tv. now a republican news conference on health care legislation.
this is 15 minutes. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> when it comes to the issue of health care, the congress shouldn't rush through health care like we did with the stimulus plan several months ago. a washington takeover of health care, i think, will limit the flexibility of our states and hurt working families around our country. when it comes to health care, i think most people want to preserve the doctor/patient relationship and not have some government-run system where we have bureaucrats in washington telling doctors what types of prescriptions they should write. when it comes to the states they need the fix to believe the deal with the constituents in their states. health care sfrares person to
person and states to states. i think states ought to be given the flex to believe the help develop solutions for the citizens in their states. house democrats introduced an 852-page bill last friday. that ought to tell you something that it is not just tweaking the current program. and i do think that at the end of the day their bill is going to ration care and raise costs and it is going to force tens of millions of americans out of their current health care plan into a government-run plan. i believe that house republicans have a better solution. a solution that will proserve the doctor-patient relationship, reduce costs and increase afortability of health insurance for all americans. governor? >> thank you for inviting me to be here and first as a governor, i can tell you that states are worried about the idea of the great expansion of medicaid even
though the house bill says it will all be paid for by the federal government, they also say they are going to make $300 billion of unspecified cuts in order to make that happen. if somebody who deals with medicaid every day, in fact every governor has to deal with medicaid very often because it is such a difficult issue and it has become such an expensive program. for many states up to 20% of their state budget. in my state, well, almost 15% of our state budget and the savings are not easy to come by. my state legislature has not achieved a budget yet and the two outstanding issues are medicate issues. so we governors understand that fooling around with medicaid is a touchy subject but when you see what is being proposed, my people tell me in mississippi,
my medicaid people, that the house bill would result in adding 300,000 mississippians to the medicaid roles. that is a 15% increase. we haven't got $315 million more to put into medicaid which is what a 50% increase could cost us. we also don't have any idea how you're going to make the savings that would reduce the cost of the program or we could add 300,000 people and have it not cost anything. we're very concerned about it. i think a lot of governors, democrats as well as republicans, know this is a very difficult, very hard subject that it shouldn't be leaped into. there needs to be a lot of information to the american people. information to state governments. 852 pages is pretty hard to swallow in a very short period
of time. as an american, beyond my concerns as governor, i think most americans agree with me. my experience with the gradual government is if the government runs something, it usually costs me more and gives me less. i think that is what americans are concerned about, a government-run health care system, that they will pay more and get less in terms of coverage, in terms of freedom and in terms of the patient/doctor relationship. we don't need government rationing health care in the united states and i think most americans fear that's where this is headed. >> thank you, governor. thank you, leader. i'm delighted to be here. house republicans are committed to bringing health care reform before the congress and before the american people. but as i saw yesterday at a town
hall meeting in richmond, indiana, there is profound sentism is among my constituents and i expect millions of americans about the a vast expansion of the government's role in our health care economy. house republicans have offered solutions that will make health insurance more affordable, more accessible and more available for the american who is comprise the some 45 million uninsured working citizens in this country but what i heard yesterday, at my town hall meeting was profound skepticism about the introduction of a government option to compete with private health insurance companies in this economy. i think most americans know that the government competes with the private sector the way an alligator competes with a duck. it consumes its. i saw it on the faces of my
constituents. as the president reaffirmed today. if his party mere in congress and his administration introduceses a government-run option into our health insurance economy, tens of millions of americans will lose the health insurance they currently enjoy. two reasons. their employers will once they see a government option available during these very difficult economic times where businesses are struggling just to keep the lights on and the doors open, many small business owners and family farmers will simply cancel their health insurance and send their flows the government. secondly, we believe and are confident that many insurance companies that are in the marked place today will simply pull that enterprise back and invest in other areas where they were not directly competing with uncle sam. house republicans are committed to bringing reform to our health
care economy in this country but it will be reform built on protecting the doctor/patient relationship protecting the integrity of a private health insurance system in this country. >> in addition to the 850-page form, harry reid said he wanted to move the reform bill through the senate that includes a path way for citizenship for illegal aliens. are you also interested in moving a similar bill to the house? >> i've suggested to a group last week that being in congress this year has been like standing in front of a machine gun, whether it is the stimulus bill or the preparation bill or whether it was the trillion dollar deficit for as far as the eye can see in the budget or whether it is the proposal taking over our health care system, a national energy tax and now, somebody is going to suggest that we're going to try
do immigration reform in the midst of all this? how much is enough? put me in the doubtful column. [laughter] >> do you think president went far enough in his press conference? >> i think the president did step up his criticism of the iranian regime. i congratulate him for that and we need to keep the pressure on him. >> you don't just come from any state. you come from mississippi, one of the poorest states in the country. in the delta you hear tales of people have health problems, departmental health, diabetes. childhood health problems. are you satisfied at the quality of care that poor mississippians are getting under your governorship and what do you think needs to be done to emprove that? >> our medicaid program is a very rich program in terms of
benefits that are available to our citizens. we have a lot of citizens that need it. we have a lot of low-income citizens and people that are disabled and old and it makes health care very, very easy to get in mississippi. the number of people on medicaid in my first five years as governor went down. went down for some good reasons. a., medicare part d took some people off medicaid. people who no longer needed the prescription benefit. secondly, we had about a 60,000 increase in employment. of,000 more people working, a whole lot of people become ineligible for medicaid for the right reason. they got a job and their kids can get health insurance. so now we're starting to see more unplomed. the cost of medicaid going up.