Skip to main content

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

12:00 pm
souter as a supreme court justice. she deserves a fair and a thorough hearing without delay. floor. i was saying that this nominee -- i want to thank my colleague for her remarks.
12:01 pm
i was talking about how this nominee would bring more federal 100 years. i notice my exchange in the airport with one person who wondered if she was a worthy of this position and apply the facts and the law. when you look at the experience that she brings, and you compared to any of these other nominees on the supreme court, she stands out. she stands out because of her unique background. here. she stands out because of her experience. all those years as a prosecutor and federal judge. that makes a difference. amount to a just one other point that has been made about her as her capacity as a judge. i want to talk about the temperament issues. there's been some stories and comments, mostly anonymous, the question her judicial temperament.
12:02 pm
according to one news story about the topics, she developed a reputation for asking tough questions at oral arguments. she is sometimes rough with lawyers who are not prepared to answer them. she is a little cart -- curt. asking tough questions is the very definition of being a judge. i cannot tell you how many times i have seen judges get impatient with lawyers who were not prepared and did not know the answer to a question. as a lawyer, you owe it to your clients and the bench to be well-prepared. as one person said, she sometimes dominates oral arguments. if she is feisty or pushy, then she will fit right in with the united states supreme court.
12:03 pm
we have come to a time in this country where we can confirm as many to the point of female judges as we have confirmed to the point and drop male judges. this nominee. when sandra day o'connor graduated from law school, more than 50 years ago, the only offer she got from a law firm was for a position as a legal secretary. she had a great background, at a very impressive background. the only opera she got was as a legal secretary. justice ginsburg who sits on the court of face similar obstacles. she was the only one of nine women in a class of more than 500 at harvard. one professor asked her to justify taking a place that would have gone to a man in
12:04 pm
that class at harvard. someone asked her to justify the fact that she was there. . . someone actually asked her to justify the fact that she was there. i suppose she could justify it now by saying she's now on the united states supreme court. later justice ginsburg was passed over for a prestigious clerkship despite her impressive credentials. looking at judge sotomayor's long record as a lawyer, a prosecutor and a judge, you can see we've come a long way. she was confirmed by this senate by the district court. she was nominated at that point by the first president bush bush. she was confirmed by this senate for the second circuit. and she now faces confirmation hearing before our judiciary committee and a confirmation again for a position with the united states supreme court. again for a position with the united states supreme court. i will tell mr. president. after learning about judge sotomayor, her background, her
12:05 pm
legal career, her judicial record, like so many of my colleagues, i'm very impressed. to use president obama's words, "i hope that judge sotomayor will bring to her nomination hearing and to the supreme court, if she's confirmed, not only the knowledge and the experience acquired over a course of a brilliant legal career, but the wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life's journey." you know, actually today justice o'connor was on the "today" show and she was asked about her work o'connor was on the "today" show and she was asked about her work on the like. and she was actually asked about -- she was asked about judge sotomayor. justice o'connor was on the today show this morning. she was asked about her work and what it was like. she was asked about judge sonia sotomayor. what she said was, she was asked when you retire, you will like
12:06 pm
a woman to replace you. you were disappointed when a woman did not replace you. what is your reaction to the nomination of sonia sotomayor? she said, i am pleased that we will have another woman on the court. i do think it is important not to have just one. our nearest neighbor, canada, also has a court of nine members. in canada, there is a woman chief justice, and four women also on the canadian court. she was asked, do you think there is a right number of women who should be on the court? she said no, of course not. then she pointed out that half of all law graduates are women today. we have a tremendous number of qualified women in the country who are serving as lawyers. they should be represented on the court. she was also asked about
12:07 pm
opponents of sonia sotomayor who never brought up the term activist judge. i know this is a term that you have railed against in the past. would you object to about the term? >> i do not think the public understands what is meant by it. it is thrown around by many in the political field. i think that probably, for most uses of the term, they are distinguishing between the role of a legislator and a judge. and they say that a judge should not legislate. the problem is at the appellate level, the supreme court is at the top of that, rules become binding law. it is hard to talk in terms of being an activist. when i talked to sonia sotomayor about this, she talks about how she lays out of the facts and law, showing how the
12:08 pm
law applies to the backs, and then reaching a decision. -- how the law applies to the facts, and then reaching a decision. she has agreed with judges who -- when she was on a three-judge panel with other judges, she agreed with other judges who have been appointed by a republican president and 95% of the time they reach the same decision. unless you believe those republican appointed judges are activist judges, then you would say she is an activist judge. when you look at her whole record, i see someone who is moderate sometimes, and at other times she comes down on the other side. as a prosecutor, i did not always just look at whether they
12:09 pm
agreed with the judge or not when i was looking at someone would make a good judge. i look at whether they apply the law to the facts. they need to be fair. sometimes our prosecutors office would not agree with a judge's decision. we would argue vehemently for a different decision. in the end, when we evaluated these judges and decided if we thought they were fair to have won a case, we looked at the whole experience. we looked at that to make a decision about whether or not this judge could be fair. when you look at her record, i am looking very much to this hearing. we will explore a number of these cases again. bob some colleagues will agree with one case, and side of the al, and others will do the same for the other side of the aisle. yudof to look at her record as a whole. -- you have to look at her record as a whole.
12:10 pm
you'll see someone of experience, someone who is thought of, who makes a decision based on the facts and the law. çi am very much looking forward to these hearings. i know that some of my colleagues are coming down here as we speak. i am looking forward to their arrival as we become ambassadors of truth to get these facts out. so many things have been ranting about and names and other things and it really get into people's heads. it is really important for all of those watching c-span right now and all of those who are in the galleries today, people need to take these facts away. the facts of her experience -- she has more judicial experience than anyone over the last 100 years. she has more experience on the bench than any of the justices nominated in over 100 years. you have to go back 100 years to find someone without much experience.
12:11 pm
you look at the work that she has done as a prosecutor, youlook at the work she has done throughout her whole life where she came from nothing and work your way, got into good colleges and law schools. may be with a little bit of help from her mom who bought those encyclopedia britannica as. as i said at the beginning, this is an nominee who understands law and understands the constitution, but also understands america. thank you very much, mr. president. i yield the floor. >> the senator from louisiana. >> thank you very much. i thank my colleague for her passionate remarks about this particular nominee. i join many of my colleagues in supporting her. a woman that i consider to be an extraordinary, accomplished woman andi commend president obama for his selection. i wanted to come to the floor
12:12 pm
to express my strong support for this nominee. the supreme court is the highest tribunal in the nation. it archer is our laws. -- it arbitrates our loss. -- laws. the supreme court justices are charged with ensuring the american people achieve justice under our law and they serve as interpreters of our constitution. it is in a very important charge. it is our duty to ensure that the members of this high court which we are asked to confirm surf -- are fair minded. a number of my colleagues have expressed concern about this nominee. they are not concerns that i share.
12:13 pm
having reviewed your regiment, right academic credentials, her -- having reviewed her resume, her academic credentials, her time both on the bench, on the second circuit as well as in a trial capacity. she has an expense of judicial -- an expansive judicial record. i think that provides evidence of the kind of judge she will be and just as she will be on the supreme court. she has been described as a peerless prosecutor. for six years as a trial judge, and 11 years on the court of appeals. she has represented a variety of different kinds of clients. she has written extensively. i think the record reflects the kind of balance, fair minded, intellectualism that we are --
12:14 pm
intellectual rigor that we are looking for. she has been appointed by both a democratic and republican administration. clearly, there were some things seem in her by president george w. bush as well as a bill clinton. she participated in over three dozen decisions. -- of 3000 decisions. she has written over four unassigned opinions. -- she participated in over 3000 decisions. she has written over 400 signed opinions. if confirmed, she would bring more experience to the supreme court than any justice in 100 years. that is a compelling statement to the members of this body. i have had the opportunity to meet with her in my office earlier this month. in addition to having an impressive professional wrestler may come our her personal journey also captured
12:15 pm
-- professional resume, her personal journey also captured my attention. as a young woman from a struggling, middle-class background from the bronx, came out the hard way with a lot of hard knocks, but with a loving and supportive family -- she has had a supportive family to leave her and guide her from the bronx to harvard and yale school. she has lived up to the promise that her mother and grandmother saw in her at a young age. i believe that she is the kind of person that will bring extraordinary intellect and character and credibility, but a tremendous wealth of experience that will be very helpful to the court and the issues that are before them today and in the future.
12:16 pm
she has not only been a champion in many ways, but her life has been an inspiration to all americans proving that with determination and hard work, anything is possible. and it goes without saying that she is at a historic choice that will bring a wealth of experience and diversity to the nation's highest court. she will become only the third woman to serve on the nation's high court if confirmed and the first hispanic justice in the history of the united states. this is a remarkable turning point. i wish she could receive because of her outstanding resume,not just because of her gender or her cultural back them up because of her role resume, -- because of her resume, she should get a lot of support. hopefully that is the way it
12:17 pm
will come out in the final vote. from my review, she deserves our support. i look forward to doing what i can to process her nomination. i thank my colleague from minnesota. >> i thank my colleague for her very thoughtful remarks about the nominee. we are now joined by a former prosecutor who will shed some light on this subject. i want to thank the senator from kansas for allowing us to take an additional five minutes here. thank you mr. president, and i yield the floor. >> thank you, mr. president. >> senator from missouri. >> i want to thank my colleague for helping us get organized this afternoon. i want to talk about this
12:18 pm
outstanding federal judge who is -- i also want to thank my colleague from kansas in giving us a few minutes to make these remarks. as i sort of looking, i will confess that i was not familiar with being nominated for supreme -- i was not familiar with the jet sonia sotomayor before she was nominated. -- with judge sonia sotomayor before she was nominated. i started looking at her rsume. there -- resume. there are so many things that are so amazing. you can get distracted about where she went to school enter -- and her several levels of the federal bench. she had a very big job in a complex litigation and a law firm. the part of her resume this book -- that spoke to me was our time is a district -- her time
12:19 pm
has a district attorney in new york. i do not know that most americans truly understand the difference between a state prosecuting attorney in a -- and a federal prosecuting attorney. those of us who have spent time in the courtroom like to explain that we are the ones who answer the 911 call. as a state prosecutor, you do not get to pick the cases you try. you try all of the cases. when -- when you are aa state prosecutor, you do not have the luxury of a large staff or a light case load. it would be unheard of for a federal prosecutor to have a case load of 100 felonies at any given time. that is the case load that this nominee handled as an a cystic district attorney -- as an assistant district attorney in new york. çwhen she came to the
12:20 pm
prosecutor's office, it was almost the exact same year i came to the prosecutor's office as a young woman out a law school. -- out of law school. i was in kansas city. she was in new york. i know what the environment is in the prosecutor's office. there are a lot of aggressive type a personalities. -- tayba "de" -- type "a" personalities. it is very difficult to handle serious felony cases. everyone wants to handle the serious felony cases. in six months, sonia sotomayor was promoted to handle certain cases in the courtroom. she prosecuted every type of crime imaginable, including the most serious crimes that are committed in our country. she had many famous cases. one was the tarzan murderer. she joined a law enforcement officers scouring houses for
12:21 pm
evidence. after a month of trial. she convicted of one person on three district -- three different murders. he was sent to life in prison. -- sentenced to life in prison. there was a longtime prosecutor who was willing to take a child pornography case. -- so my york -- sonia sotomayor stepped up to deal with a case dealing with child pornography convictions. these were the first child pornography convictions after the supreme court had upheld new york's law that barred the sale of sexually explicit films using children. she helped to bar those that had sexually explicit use of children. a trial judge is an unusual kind -- she eventually became a trial judge. a trial judge is an unusual kind of experience for a supreme court justice. keep in mind what they do. they look at the record of the
12:22 pm
trial. they are trying to pass some laws that emanate from the courtroom. what a wonderful nominee we have that does not only stood at the -- that has not only stood at of bar as a prosecutor, but also -- at the bar as a prosecutor, but also sat on the bench ruling on matters of evidence and matters of law. i am proud of the fact that she has this experience. she is confirmed or when she is -- if she is confirmed, or when she is confirmed, confirmed, she will be the only supreme court justice with that trial judge experience. she is replacing the only judgment that experience, the -- the only justice with that experience, justice souter -- justice souter. this is a meat and potatoes moderate judge. this is a judge who has agreed with republicans on our panel
12:23 pm
95% of the time. this is a judge who has the kind of experience that will allow her to make wise decisions on the most important matters that come to the highest court in this country. we have a gotcha mentality. we all bridges a break in and. it is not -- we all participate in it. it is gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. it is not my favorite part, but it is real. sonia sotomayor will become a supreme court justice after having gone through a gotcha process. and we are going to hear a lot of gotchas in the coming weeks. at the end of the day, this is a smart, a proud woman who has fought her way through a system of tremendous odds to show that she has integrity, great,
12:24 pm
intellect, and the ability to pass judgment on the most difficult and intellectual challenges that face the supreme court justices. i am proud to support her nomination. i look forward to the day when she will take her place on the highest court in the land. thank you. and thank you to the center for -- from kansas for his indulgence. >> i want to thank the senator from kansas and others who spoke today. no that others will be -- i know that others will be speaking in the next few weeks. many of my colleagues will be speaking on this nominee as well. we are very excited about this upcoming hearing. we are glad we are able to be here. thank you. i yield the floor. ourç coverage of judge sonia sotomayor's nomination to the
12:25 pm
supreme court continues which remarks from republicans. later, comments from democratic senator arlen specter on his question -- his plans to question sonia sotomayor on allowing tv cameras on supreme court proceedings. >> good afternoon, it is good to be with you. we thought we would share a few thoughts about the judge sotomayor nomination. she deserves a fair treatment and we are here to metra that happens. it always raises quite a number of important questions and some of those questions have been discussed in recent days. it is quite appropriate that senators who have concerns want to -- who are concerned about matters, that they come to the floor and raise them. it gives the nominate a chance
12:26 pm
to be ready for the expressed concerns of senators. also, i think a person advances in nationals -- national discussion on issues of great importance i. today, we talk about the second amendment. i would say that a lot of people think that the howard case was a defining, decisive decision that guaranteed the individual right to keep and bear arms, and it was. however, explicitly applies only to the federal law and federal government of the district of columbia. so, in a footnote, they noted that they were not deciding whether the second amendment was incorporated and would actually apply to states. that being the case, you could have a non-federal feet are
12:27 pm
handguns completely if the second amendment is not incorporated. that remains a tremendous issue. in our decision making process -- in her decision making process in cases that she decided, judge sotomayor rendered an opinion that held that the second amendment is not a fundamental right. is a decisive and important question on whether the second amendment should apply to the cities and states. this is a matter of great to mcginn. in truth, there was a supreme court decision in the 1800's, i believe, that is consistent with that. and she says, and our panel did, that she was acting consistent with that decision. and the second panel agreed with that. the ninth circuit, however, has
12:28 pm
seen it differently. they concluded that the second point -- second amendment does apply to the cities and states and counties. so, there's a difference of opinion. i would say first of all, this is a very significant case that will come before the supreme court. just earlier this year, she rendered an opinion that if it were to become law, would eviscerate the second amendment in many parts of this country because a lot of cities are hostile to weapons and guns of any kind and like the district of columbia, are likely to vote with very severe restrictions, if not bands on the right to kep and bear arms. that is what we discussed today. i am sure the nominee will be willing to talk about that in individual meetings. i did not raise that with her, but i think some senators have. senator hatch is a senior
12:29 pm
republican, a constitutional scholar, and man who has been true confirmations time and again. i know he made a very eloquent speech just earlier today and i would like to recognize senator hatch. >> thank you, senator. i'm grateful to have jürgen ship on the senate judiciary committee. i think there are some important issues for us to raise in advance so the justice sotomayor will have some idea of what some of the questions will be. this is a great deal to was. it took a long time to get through the howard case to decide that the second amendment is a personal right. i think the senator from alabama has explained it quite4+% adequately. the senate has to look at judge sotomayor's entire


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on