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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 27, 2009 11:30am-12:00pm EDT

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that we were more familiar than readers of the newspapers. this case has to be on our pocket. >> i think many of you know the background facts of this case. let me summarize it briefly. there was a major dispute between two coal companies in west virginia. one accuses the other of using a malicious aggressive tactics to drive that company out of business. there is a trial. a $50 million verdict against the aggressor coal company. the defeated aggressor coal company says we are going to appeal. the president of the company says i am going to participate in a big way in in electing the next available justice to the
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west virginia supreme court. that individual spends $3 million of his own money to replace in the election when of the justices on the supreme court perceived by him to be least favorable to his potential case with someone he perceived to be more favorable. the coal company that was the winner of the case below asked that the justice reclusive self. he declined. the case goes to the united states supreme court based upon the claim that there is a violation of the due process. because every litigant is entitled to a fair tribunal, and the supreme court decided that there was a five-4 vote.
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this was another justice kennedy outcome. i think he had six opinions. he probably has one on monday. the supreme court said there is a floor under which an individual who is, where the circumstances suggest that an objective person might think that person could have a whole time holding the balance clear and true and maybe bias should under the constitution to process clause be were occludes in the case. -- reclusived in the case. chief justice roberts was 40 different questions that might come up.
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what about trade associations? putting money into elections. all of those are legitimate questions. what was concerning the court -- and justice o'connor had spoken about this very case quite a bit. it was the appearance of justice for sale. the loss of money going into state's judicial races were making people believe they had to participate in some way in financing judicial elections, where they would not get a fair hearing when their case came before the court. i argued this case. i knew the court was going to be very concerned about opening the floodgates and where we go from here and what kind of bias will be demonstrated by going to someone's wedding or being close friends with a justice or former clerk of the justice or living
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in the same neighborhood and that sort of thing. i focused a lot of the justice for sale concern that i think underlay what the justices were concerned about. of a back to the magna court of -- i went back to the magna car timys saying -- magna carta, sag justice will not be barred. -- will not be bought. i picked up the fifth vote to support the final outcome. one of the justices during the oral arguments, i think it was justice stevens said it is not the part of the justice -- of the -- due process clause the
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right of the judiciary? >> solis said it is the right of the individual not the judiciary. -- and another person said it is the right of the individual not the judiciary. we have to be mindful of the appearance of justice as well as the actual justice itself. the backs of this case were so bad that once they took the case, it was going to be hard to say, no problem. >> as we move to our conclusion , we should and with a comment on the retiring justice souter believes the court. i had not met him before he was nominated to the bench. i remember covering his
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confirmation hearings. i was taking what i was seen in the hearings. the justice he has been on the bench seems fairly can grow much with the person i saw before the hearings. some people think he has turned out to be a liberal justice. during his time in washington, he has been disengaged from the social life in washington. it does not appear on the social scene. we know he will be happy to go back to his farm in new hampshire. he will be happy to see washington in his rearview mirror. what is legacy will be, i guess historians will say -- each
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year, i am asked about organizing abon voyage -- a bon voyage meeting for 8 rose scholar which justice souter was. we debriefed the scholars on the things they have done in washington. every year justice souter has been at the top of the list. the one person that they have met. what they come away with is they are singing someone with thoughtful. -- saying someone who is a thoughtful. -- seeing someone who is thoughtful.
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in washington, that may be a rare commodity. does anyone else want to add to that? i want to be sure that we do not concluded today without a word on the retiring justice. >> i will say one word. he is a very decent, thoughtful man. david souter had a lot of empathy. he gave a farewell speech to his third circuit. the speeches -- he spoke with ron -- he spoke in a very passionate way about a justice and what a justice is and what a judge is, what it means to be that. what separation of power meant to him.
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this was in new hampshire. both of those speeches -- i will hope there is a record of them. >> he would not allow them to be recorded. >> that is too bad. everyone should hear the speeches. >> this was the most marvelous panel. i want to thank them. [applause] this discussion has been most enlightening and stimulating. we have learned about a fish that only died temporarily. [laughter] it is no wonder that this panel has become one of the popular highlight features of our conference. we now are going to bring the
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conference to a close. i think it has been a wonderful conference. we have learned a lot. i'd like to call on our chief judge who called this conference to adjourn. judge karen. >> i want to thank each of our panelists today and also professor howard for the wonderful job he did as our moderator. this term included decisions on a great variety of subjects. i thought you all did a masterful job of exploring those decisions and providing us with important takeaways. before adjourning, there are several other people i would like to take.
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first chief justice roberts for his willingness to address the conference at the banquet last night and to participate in the q&a this morning. i think this -- i think this session added a lot to our traditional discussions. to the most recent supreme court, my good colleague, i am so indebted to you for all that you have done as a program chair. this has been fabulous. i thought it was most informative and a great success. i cannot thank you enough for all of your dedicated service in making sure the conference was such a success. to my good colleague, judge j.
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harvey wilkinson. i might be the chief judge, but he is the dean of this court. i also want to thank sam phillips and the staff of this office for the fine job they did in planning this conference and making sure that everything went so smoothly. i want to thank you, the membership, at this conference. all of us a judge's look forward to getting to know you and form lasting friendships. this is our 76 conference. i hope that you all had a wonderful time. our 77 conference is tentatively scheduled to take place next
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year june 24-26. we look forward to seeing you there. that is in 2010. i wish each of you safe travels home, and we now stand adjourned. thank you. [applause] ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
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>> you can watch the fourth circuit judicial conference again with remarks from chief justice john roberts later today at 7:00 p.m. eastern here on c- span. hearings on judge sonia sotomayor's nominations began june 16. now a look on talks about the
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supreme court nominee highlighting her qualifications. this is a little over 40 minutes. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i'll be joined on the floor today by some of my fellow women senators to talk about the president's nominee for the supreme court. i will note that some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle came to the floor yesterday to, as one news report described it "kickoff their campaign" against her. so we want to take this opportunity to get the facts out, to correct any miscon exceptions, and to set the -- miscon exceptions, and to set the record straight. the supreme court hearing for judge sonia sotomayor will begin july 13 but my consideration will not begin then. i began considering her the day she was announced because as a member of the judiciary committee i want to learn as much as i can about president obama's choice to fill one of the most important jobs in our
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country. even though there are many questions that will be asked and many areas that we will want to focus on, i would like to speak today about how judge sotomayor appears to me, based on my initial review. after meeting with after reading about -- reading her, i am positive about her nomination. she knows the law. she also knows america. i know americans have heard a lot of things about her, her background, her long career as a judge. it is important to talk about her -- what a solid nominee she is. we have to keep in mind that there have been accusations and statements made by people outside this chamber on television and cable. there have been some misstatements. it came to me a few weeks ago when i was in the airport in minnesota.
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a guy came up to me on a tram in the airport and said, do you know how you are voting on that woman? i said i will see how she answers some of the questions. he said he was worried. i asked why. he said she is always putting her emotions in front of the law. i said, when she is on a panel with three journalists -- judges on the circuit court and they have her in two other judges that night 5 percent of the time, she comes to an agreement with the republican judge on the panel? you must be thinking the same thing about those guys, and that incident made me think that we need to set the record straight about the facts. we need to get the truth about judge sonia sotomayor. we need to look at her record and determine what we are
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looking for in the united states supreme court. shinnies to get the same treatment the other nominees have been given. this is a classic american story about what is possible with hard work. she grew up in challenging circumstances. she worked hard for every single thing she got. many of you know her story. her dad died when she was 9 years old. her mom supporting her and her brother. her mother was so devoted to her education that she save every penny she could said that she could buy encyclopedia britannica for her children. this meant a lot to me, because i remember growing up seeing that that was an important set
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to have. demint a lot to our family. . sonia sotomayor graduated from princeton with high marks. . she went on to yale law school. when commentators have questioned whether she was smart enough, you cannot make up that you have these high awards from these prestigious universities. since graduating, the judge --
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graduating from law school, she spent five years as a prosecutor at the manhattan district attorney's office. it was one of the most dizzying offices in our country. at the time, it paid about half as much as a job in the private sector. she took the job as a prosecutor. i was a prosecutor before i entered the senate. i managed about 400 people in minnesota. i've is very interested in the experience that we had. one of the things that i learned and i know she understood is that as a prosecutor, bollore is not a dusty book in your basement.
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after you've seen the damage that crime can do in your community, and you have seen some families in the courtroom, you know that law is not an abstract subject. you see that it has a real impact on real people. as a prosecutor, you do not just have to know all you have to the people process. you have to of human nature. some say sonia sotomayor is a important force in the courtroom. she never lost sight of who she was fighting for. she was fighting for the people in her neighborhood. she was fighting for the victims of crime. her experience as a prosecutor tells me that she meets one of my criteria as a supreme court nominee. i am looking for someone who deeply appreciates the power and
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the impact that loss have in the criminal justice system on real people's lives. from her first day as a manhattan district attorney's office, she knew the law was not one thing. i have learned a lot about her from her work as a judge. she has been a judge for 17 years. she has spent six years as a trial judge. the first president bush gave her the first job she had as a federal judge. the job was to be a district judge in the southern district of new york. her nominations were enthusiastically supported by several senators.
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if you watch tv, you know she has been called several names. she has been called names by talking heads on tv and radio. in most cases, these commentators may have read and said things out of context. . if you were seventh taken out of context. hurt professional record is barragan to consider. we have to determine whether to confirm someone an incredibly important decision that is a lifetime position. when people get upset about a few items in a few speeches that
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a judge has given, i have to wonder. the few statements that someone has made in public, do those trump 17 years of judicial decision making i do not think so. if you want to know what kind of a justice issue will become is not our best evidence to look at the top of judge she has already been? she has presided over roughly 400 cases. she has participated in more than 3000 panel decisions. she is authored several appellate opinions. she agreed 95 percent time as i. reviewed five cases where she authored the decision and it affirmed the decision below
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the vast majority of her cases have not been overturned by a higher court. it is worth noting that this nominee if confirmed would bring more judicial experience to the supreme court than any justice in 100 years. with that, my colleagues are here. we will have a number of women senators here. remarks. i thought it was very important hampshire be able to say a few words about the nominee. thank you very much, mr. president. i yield the floor.
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i am delighted to be here this afternoon to join my friend and colleague from minnesota. i support the nomination of justice sonia sotomayor to be a justice of the supreme court. everyone in my home state of new hampshire was very proud whenthe former president bush nominated judge solomon your to -- justice souter to the supreme court. reinforced that pride. so when justice souter announced in early may that he intended to retire at the end of his term and return home to new hampshire, i took particular interest in choice in nominating judge
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sonia sotomayor. she has had a distinguished career as a federal judge. she has been widely noted -- as bring more federal judicial experience to the supreme court in any justice in 100 years. today david souter is the only member of the supreme court with court judge. sonia sotomayor would be the only justice with experience as a trial court judge. i happen to agree with this other senator. nine supreme court justices have that experience. trial judges must apply the legal principle enunciated in supreme court opinions.
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this nominee served five years at the -- as a local prosecutor and practice law for seven years at a private law firm. she will be ever mindful of the need to provide those in the courtroom with clear and practical decisions. beings. as a trial judge, she directly faced innocent victims of crime, vicious perpetrators of crime and occasionally a wrongfully accused. she directly faced injured parties seeking civil address and several defendants who may have to make honest mistakes. she had to answer what is the right verdict? what is the right length of incarceration?
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damages? these are not easy decisions. i know that, because my husband was a state trial court judge for 16 years. measure out. people. her ankle. i said to her, you are tough. you have to be tough. injury with grace and humor. she has a first rate temperament. she has first-rate intellect. after growing up in a public housing project in the bronx, she excelled at princeton and yacht -- yale law school. i believe that she is an


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